Wilson Center Experts

David Ottaway

Senior Scholar
Middle East Program

Contact Information:
T 202-691-4061 // F 202-691-4001
Middle East and North Africa
Saudi Arabia
Middle East Specialist and Former Washington Post Correspondent
Wilson Center Project(s):
“Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World"
Dec 22, 2006
Dec 31, 2015

David B. Ottaway received a BA from Harvard, magna cum laude, in 1962 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1972. He worked 35 years for The Washington Post as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe and later as a national security and investigative reporter in Washington before retiring in 2006. He has won numerous awards for his reporting at home and abroad and was twice nominated a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ottaway was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1979-80 and again in 2005-06 and is currently a Senior Scholar. His most recent book, published in November 2008, was The King’s Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America’s Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia.  He is currently working on a book regarding the changes underway in the Arab world.

Major Publications

  • "The Arab Tomorrow," Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2010
  • "The King and US," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2009
  • King's Messenger: Prince Bandar Bin Sultan and America's Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia (Walker & Company)
  • Chained Together: Mandela, De Klerk and the Struggle to Remake South Africa (Random House)
  • Afro-Communism, coauthor with Marina Ottaway (Holmes & Meier Publications, 1986)
  • Algeria: the Politics of a Socialist Revolution, coauthor with Marina Ottaway (University of California Press, 1970)
Previous Terms at the Wilson Center:
Fellow, 2006-2007 "A Reporter's Postcards: Revisiting Six Global Hot Spots That Changed History's Course" I am returning to six countries where I lived or covered major stories, from Algeria at independence in 1962, to the Bosnian civil war in 1992-94. I witnessed Anwar Sadat's assassination in Egypt; the fall of Haile Selassie in Ethiopia; Nelson Mandela's walk to freedom; one million French people fleeing Algeria at independence, and the last Portuguese government ship departing Luanda at Angola's bloody independence.

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