Ilan Goldenberg

  • Middle East Security

Ilan Goldenberg is Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expert with extensive government experience covering Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the broader challenges facing the Middle East. Prior to CNAS, Mr. Goldenberg served as the Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at the U.S. Department of State.  In that position, he has played a key leadership role with the small team supporting Secretary Kerry’s initiative to conduct permanent status peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

From 2012 to 2013, Mr. Goldenberg served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee covering Middle East issues for Chairmen Kerry and Menendez. In that capacity, he acted as one of the lead drafters of the Syria Transition Support Act which provided additional authorities to arm the Syrian opposition. The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May 2013.

From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Goldenberg served first as a Special Advisor on the Middle East and then as the Iran Team Chief in the Office of the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. In that position he provided advice and support to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and other senior DOD officials on Iranian nuclear, military, and political issues.

Prior to that, Mr. Goldenberg worked as Policy Director and was one of the founding staff members of the National Security Network – a progressive nonprofit foreign policy organization dedicated to a pragmatic and principled foreign policy.  He also spent time early in his career as a financial analyst at CitiGroup Investment Banking where he covered the oil and gas industry.
 
Mr. Goldenberg is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and George Washington University’s Elliot School of School of International Affairs.
 
Mr. Goldenberg holds a B.A. in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of Business, and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

  • June 16, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, Nicholas Heras
  • Reports

Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom-Up Approach

Report proposes a strategy based on four key interlocking efforts and then describes how these efforts can be applied region by region in western Iraq, eastern Syria, southwest Syria, and northwest Syria.

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  • May 31, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Reports

Advancing the Dialogue: A Security System for the Two-State Solution

Report outlines comprehensive security arrangements for Israelis and Palestinians based on six core principles and provides proposed solutions to all of the toughest security questions that have bedeviled Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

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  • April 19, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Reports

Reset, Negotiate, Institutionalize: A Phased Middle East Strategy for the Next President

Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow and director of the CNAS Middle East Security Program, lays out a phased strategy for the next President to pursue over the next eight years.

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  • November 4, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Congressional Testimony

Ilan Goldenberg before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Ilan Goldenberg testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts on Iranian and Palestinian terrorism.

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  • October 19, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Avner Golov, Nicholas Heras, Ellie Maruyama
  • Reports

After the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: A Game Plan for the United States

Five CNAS Experts lay out a comprehensive strategy and concrete recommendations for how the U.S. can maximize the opportunity presented by JCPOA.

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  • September 14, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Avner Golov, Nicholas Heras, Ellie Maruyama, Axel Hellman
  • Commentaries

The Iran Agreement and What Comes Next

In advance of Congress’ pending vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), CNAS experts produced commentary on U.S. strategy after the Iran Deal.

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  • July 23, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Congressional Testimony

Ilan Goldenberg before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the implications of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

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  • June 15, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Reports

U.S. Strategy After the Iran Deal: Seizing Opportunities and Managing Risks

As Iran and the P5+1 close in on the deadline for a deal addressing Iran’s nuclear program, Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg makes six core policy recommendations to the U.S. for maximizing the benefits of any deal with Iran.

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  • March 2, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Reports

Lessons from the 2013-2014 Israeli-Palestinian Final Status Negotiations

Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg lays out nine lessons and recommendations that should inform future negotiations.

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  • February 3, 2015
  • Shawn Brimley, Phillip Carter, Elbridge Colby, Patrick M. Cronin, Michele Flournoy, Ilan Goldenberg, Jerry Hendrix, Nicholas Heras, Van Jackson, Katherine Kidder, Paul Scharre, Julianne Smith, Jacob Stokes, Alexander Sullivan
  • Reports

Ideas to Action: Suggestions for the 25th Secretary of Defense

In advance of Dr. Ashton Carter’s upcoming nomination hearing to be Secretary of Defense, CNAS experts have produced a series of commentaries outlining the key issues the 25th Secretary of Defense will face.

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Pages

  • July 21, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, Nicholas Heras
  • Press Notes

CNAS Press Note: The Counter-ISIS Ministerial Meeting

As the defense and foreign ministers of 46 nations meet in Washington to discuss the counter-ISIS campaign, Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg, 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre, and Bacevich Fellow Nicholas Heras have written a new Press Note.

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  • July 18, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

U.S. relationship with Turkey ‘is only going to get more complicated’

In The Washington Post, senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg discusses the attempted coup in Turkey.

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  • July 12, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Press Notes

CNAS Press Note: The JCPOA with Iran, One Year Later

As Iran and international powers approach the one-year anniversary of their historic nuclear accord on July 14, CNAS Senior Fellows Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg have written a new Press Note.

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  • July 11, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

U.S. Offers to Increase Military Aid to Israel

In The New York Times, Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg discusses the ongoing conflict over military aid spending in Israel.

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  • June 7, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

For Israelis and Palestinians, peace plans just keep coming

Senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg stresses the importance of detailed proposals in the conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Times of Israel.

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  • June 6, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

Israeli General Lays Out New Security Plan as Way to Peace With Palestinians

In the Associated Press, senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg explains that the new report for a two-state solution would allow Israel to retain its defenses in an emergency.

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  • June 3, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

Former Israeli and US officials unveil security-based proposals for two-state solution

The Jerusalem Post analyses the new CNAS two-state solution report for Israel and Palestine while Ilan Goldenberg explains why the solution is a viable plan.  

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  • May 18, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

Kerry Says ‘Competing Interests’ Hold Up Syria Peace Accord

Senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg explains the unsuccessful deal the Obama administration wishes to make with Syrian opposition forces in Bloomberg

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  • May 9, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

U.S. forces now on the ground supporting combat operations in Yemen, Pentagon says

Senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg discusses the implications of American military involvement in Yemen's civil war in the Washington Post

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  • May 9, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • In the News

U.S. Urged to Approve Gulf Fighter Deal

In The Wall Street Journal, senior fellow Ilan Goldenberg discusses the importance of maintaining a strong alliance with Gulf countries

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  • July 9, 2016
  • Michele Flournoy, Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

Opinion: A four-point strategy for defeating the Islamic State

In a Washington Post op-ed, CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy and Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg discuss how to defeat ISIS.

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  • April 20, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas Heras, Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

Taking the Fight to "ISILSTAN": Displacing and Replacing ISIL in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq

In War on the Rocks, CNAS experts Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, and Nicholas Heras co-author an op-ed discussing U.S. strategy toward ISIL.

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  • April 19, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Peter Kirechu
  • Op-eds

What the US Gives Its Mideast Partners Isn’t Always What They Need

In Defense One, CNAS Middle East Security Program experts Ilan Goldenberg and Peter Kirechu pen an op-ed discussing President Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia.

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  • March 7, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

What the U.S.-China Experience Can Teach About Iran’s Future

In The National Interest, Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg suggests that America's long rapprochement with China offers insights into a possible Iranian future.

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  • February 4, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

Judging the Iran Nuclear Deal, Six Months In

Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow director of the Middle East Security Program, discusses the results of the JCPOA six months after its agreement.

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  • November 24, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

Kerry's Visit: America Has No Choice but to Reengage in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg co-authored an op-ed examining how the US can engage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Haaretz.

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  • November 9, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

How Bibi and Obama Can Stop the Drama

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg co-wrote an op-ed discussing how President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu can have a productive dialogue in The National Interest.

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  • October 19, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

Patching Up U.S. Relations with the Gulf Arab States

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg co-wrote an op-ed examing relations between the US and the Gulf Cooperation Council states in Foreign Affairs.

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  • September 24, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

A Strategy to Push Back Iran in Syria

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg co-wrote an op-ed discussing the proper strategy with Iran over the conflict in Syria in The Daily Beast.

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  • September 24, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Op-eds

The Real Reason America Needs to Engage with Iran

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg wrote an op-ed examining reasons for US engagement with Iran after the nuclear deal in The National Interest.

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  • November 4, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Congressional Testimony

Ilan Goldenberg before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Ilan Goldenberg testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts on Iranian and Palestinian terrorism.

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  • July 23, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Congressional Testimony

Ilan Goldenberg before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the implications of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

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  • April 20, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Audio

Plenty Of Friction Expected During Obama's Visit To Saudi Arabia

On NPR Morning Edition, Senior Fellow Ilan Goldenberg discusses President Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia.

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  • July 8, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Videos

Video: CNAS 2015 Annual Conference - Iran: Deal or No Deal

Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Amb. Nicholas Burns, Managing Director at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael Singh, and Senior Fellow Ilan Goldenberg discuss whether a deal with Iran is attainable over their nuclear weapons development. Columnist at The Washington Post, David Ignatius moderates the panel. 

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  • April 29, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Videos

Video: China performs delicate balancing act in the Middle East

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg discusses China's efforts in the Middle East. 

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  • April 23, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Audio

Conference Call with Ilan Goldenberg

Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg discuss the ongoing Iran negotiations with the Israel Policy Forum.

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  • March 4, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Audio

The U.S., Israel and Iran: Reaction to the Netanyahu speech

Middle East Security Director Ilan Goldenberg join's NPR to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress.

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  • March 2, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Videos

Ilan Goldenberg on Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: Lessons Learned

Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Security Program, discusses his outlook on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and whether the two nations cam come to an agreement.

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  • March 2, 2015
  • Ilan Goldenberg
  • Videos

HuffPost Live: Benjamin Netanyahu & Susan Rice To Speak At AIPAC

Senior Fellow Ilan Goldenberg joins a panel on HuffPost Live Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address at AIPAC will impact relations and a possible Iran deal.

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