What can and should President Joe Biden do to end the war in Yemen? Within his first week in office, Biden paused two Trump administration initiatives: the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the designation of the Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization. Both actions are temporary and may be reversed; neither suspends US support for the Saudi military’s aggression in Yemen. Even if Biden decisively withdraws US support, what will it take to end the war, mindful of the other factors driving the violence in Yemen, especially the flow of resources from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran. Join U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), Aisha Jumaan, President and founder of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, and Annelle Sheline, Research Fellow for the Middle East at the Quincy Institute, as they discuss how to address the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe. Trita Parsi, Quincy Institute Executive Vice President, will moderate the conversation.
Representative Ro Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving his third term. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Committees on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee. Additionally, Rep. Khanna is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Rep. Khanna is committed to advancing a foreign policy of military restraint and diplomatic engagement. Instead of spending trillions on wars overseas, Rep. Khanna believes we should invest in priorities at home like Medicare for All, Debt Free College, and a new 21st Century infrastructure.
Aisha Jumaan, MPH, PhD, is the President and founder of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF). Jumaan has over 30 years of experience in public health, including in viral vaccine preventable diseases, cancer research, maternal & child health and nutrition, and women in development. She worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for over a decade. Jumaan also worked in her native home, Yemen, with UNFPA and UNDP, where she also participated in health-related program development, evaluation, and training activities for the Peace Corps. She has served on the faculty of Emory University, as well as Sana’a University. Jumaan is currently working as an Independent Consultant coordinating health-related projects in Yemen.
Annelle Sheline, PhD, is the Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute and an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa. Sheline is completing a book manuscript on the strategic use of religious authority in the Arab monarchies since 9/11, focusing on the cases of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman. Her non-academic writing has appeared in The Nation, Politico, and Foreign Policy. She earned her PhD in political science from George Washington University and is a non-resident fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Trita Parsi, PhD, is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel. He is the co-founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council. He received his PhD in foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies, a Master's Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University, and a Master's Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.