Samuel Morris is a research fellow at the Middle East Research Institute. Educated in the Sultanate of Oman and subsequently at Swansea University where he obtained a BA in International Relations in 2009. He went on to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where he received an MSc in Middle East Politics, a specialist degree with a focus on both the domestic and regional politics of the Middle East.
At this time Sam travelled extensively in the Middle East, focusing particularly on Gaza and Israel, where he spent time studying ethnic divisions in local politics. In 2011 he went on to study Modern Standard Arabic at Damascus University and subsequently continued his Arabic studies in Cairo and then in Gaza where he was seconded to the Doha Center for Media Freedom.
For the past three years Sam has worked as Project Director of The Next Century Foundation, a foreign policy group focused on second track negations and on dialogue for conflict resolution and war avoidance throughout the Middle East. He has also covered the situation in Syria, Gulf security and the role of Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region. In addition, he has specialised in research on extremism and radicalisation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Sam has written extensively on a wide range of Middle Eastern political and security issues. His reports for the Next Century Foundation have included:
- Bahrain: One Year On, a study of an emerging conflict and strategies for reconciliation
- Syria: Imagining a Way Forward and Breaking New Ground: a study of strategies to promote an inclusive peace in the aftermath of the Syrian civil war
- Security and Governance in Afghanistan. Strategies for political reform to promote stability
In 2013 Sam was appointed a Director of the International Communications Forum, an organisation dedicated to furthering standards of media ethics. He is currently leading an electoral monitoring delegation to Iraq as an accredited international election observer for Iraq’s 2014 national elections. This is the only team of international election observers to travel extensively the interior of the country in this year’s parliamentary election.