Team

Jason Pack —  Founder & Emeritus Director

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Jason Pack is the Founder & Emeritus Director of Eye on ISIS in Libya. Currently, he is working as a Non-Resident Fellow at the Middle East Institute, where his writings focus on the unique dysfunctionalities of the  Libyan Economy.  Over the course of 2020, he plans to work on a popular book exploring what Libya’s dysfunctional economic structures and its ongoing civil war tells us more broadly about globalization and the geopolitics of the 21st century.

Over the last ten years, Jason Pack, has worked to promote UK-Libyan and U.S.-Libyan commercial, academic, and governmental ties. After living in Tripoli in 2008, seeking to help Western businesses analyze the reform processes and operate, he returned to the US to serve as U.S.-Libya Business Association (USLBA) Program Manager in 2009-10. He then completed an M.St. in Global and Imperial History at St. Antony’s College, Oxford in 2011. Since then, he has been affiliated with the University of Cambridge, where he was a PhD student and researcher of Middle Eastern History.  From January 2017 to April 2018, he served as Executive Director of the U.S.-Libya Business Association.

Jason has advised the UN, NATO and most Western governments on formulating policy towards Libya. Via his consultancy, Libya-Analysis®, Jason specializes in producing bespoke reports for Western companies which monitor specific aspects of the political and security situation in Libya, while also providing big-picture forecasting. In this capacity, the Senior Libya Analyst at CRCM North Africa, a German strategy firm.

In 2015, Jason founded EyeOnISISInLibya.com as a non-profit 501c3 monitoring service detailing the group’s history, its interactions with other jihadi actors, and Western actions towards the group. Jason is the author of “It’s the Economy Stupid: How Libya’s Civil War Is Rooted in Its Economic Structures” editor of The 2011 Libyan Uprisings and the Struggle for the Post-Qadhafi Future (Palgrave Macmillan June 2013) and lead author of ‘The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya (Atlantic Council June 2017) and  Libya’s Faustian Bargains: Breaking the Appeasement Cycle (Atlantic Council May 2014). His analysis and opinion articles have appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe SpectatorNewsweekThe Financial TimesThe GuardianForeign Policy, and Foreign Affairs. One of the few Western experts on the inner workings of Libya’s jihadi militias, Mr. Pack is a frequent commentator on the BBC, France 24, CNN, VOA, and Al Jazeera.

Rhiannon Smith — Partner

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Rhiannon Smith has been the Managing Director of Libya-Analysis® since 2016 during which time she has overseen all of Libya-Analysis’s research and consultancy projects. She regularly delivers high level briefings on Libya to government entities, international organisations, corporations and academic conferences.

Rhiannon has authored or co-authored several think tank reports and journal articles, including ‘Al-Qaida’s Strategy in Libya: Keep it Local, Stupid‘ for the journal Perspectives on Terrorism, ‘The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya’ published by the Atlantic Council and ‘Non-military Perspectives on Recent Developments in Libya’ for NATO. Rhiannon regularly gives media interviews, appearing on France 24, Al Jazeera English, TRT World and Voice of America, to name a few. She has also published extensively on Libya including writing articles for the Petroleum EconomistPolitico, Al Jazeera, the New Statesman, Religion & Geopolitics, Hate Speech International & the Middle East Eye. She also wrote a regular column on Libya for open Democracy during her time in Libya. Rhiannon also held the position of North Africa Editor for Norwegian NGO Hate Speech International, where she commissioned and edited a series of papers on extremism in North Africa.

Previously, Rhiannon was the Programme Manager for the Middle East at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS). As part of this role she managed the Middle East Research Centre at CJBS, focusing on the particular leadership and management challenges facing Middle Eastern organisations. She lived in Tripoli, Libya from  2010 to 2014, working for a number of organisations including Libyan research consultancy Know Libya and international NGO No Peace Without Justice. She has also worked as a Libya analyst for Control Risks. Rhiannon holds an MSc in Development Management from the Open University and a BA Hons in Arabic, with French and Persian from the University of Exeter. She speaks, writes and reads Arabic and French.

Nate Mason — Partner

NateMasonHeadShot-BWwebNate Mason is an independent consultant focused on North Africa. He assists companies with market entry strategy, business strategy, and government relations. He served as the Commercial Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli from December 2011 through March 2013. In 2011 he served as an embedded U.S. government adviser in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in Liberia. Prior to that he was the North Africa Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2005 to 2010. He is the author of several published articles about North Africa including Tripoli Cannot Impose Unity on Libya, Libyan Militias: The West’s Partners Against ISIS? and Oil and Power in the New Libya.

 

Aaron Y. Zelin — Head of ISIS Materials

downloadAaron Y. Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is also a PhD candidate at King’s College London where his dissertation is on the history of the Tunisian jihadi movement. Zelin is the founder of the widely acclaimed and cited website Jihadology.net and its podcast JihadPod.

Zelin’s research focuses on global jihadi groups in North Africa and Syria. He is also the author of the New America Foundation’s January 2013 study The State of the Global Jihad Online, the June 2014 Washington Institute study The War Between ISIS and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement, and the January 2016 Washington Institute study The Islamic State’s Territorial Methodology. You can follow him on Twitter @azelin.