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Peter Rough


Peter Rough is a fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. where he writes and comments on U.S. foreign policy toward Europe and the Middle East. Currently, he is leading two in-depth studies: one that examines Iran’s challenge to the American-led regional order in the Middle East and another that investigates the future of Europe and transatlantic relations. He regularly briefs official delegations, news media, public intellectuals, and business leaders from around the world. He is also a regular commentator on major radio and television. While at the Institute, he has been named a next generation leader at Atlantik-Brücke, the Center for New American Security, and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies. He has also helped edit Hudson’s journal, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.

Rough is also principal and founder of Hilltop Solutions, a limited liability company that performs writing and research services for academics, executives, and political professionals. Previously, as director of research in the Office of George W. Bush, Rough assisted the former president with his memoir, Decision Points. In 2014, his highly-acclaimed collaboration with Leila Fawaz on a social history of World War I in the Middle East, A Land of Aching Hearts, was published by Harvard University Press.

From 2007-2009, Rough served as associate director in the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, where he helped coordinate political strategy and outreach to key stakeholders. He has also completed stints as a policy analyst at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he was staff briefer to Administrator Henrietta Fore, and as an advisor to U.S. Army Special Operations Command, where he analyzed Unconventional Warfare doctrine for the Commanding General’s Strategic Initiatives Group. In 2012, he was responsible for U.S.-Russia bilateral relations as a member of the Romney for President Russia Working Group. In 2016, he served as a member of the Rubio for President Middle East Working Group.

Rough began his career at the Republican National Committee specializing in political research. A proud native of Des Moines, Iowa, he holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he was a Cabot Corporation Scholar.

He is a native German speaker.

Featured Research

A Stronger German-American Alliance

Peter Rough

More than any other country, Germany has profited from the post–Cold War international system....

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In the Media

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U.S. National Security Implications of a Corbyn Foreign Policy

U.S. National Security Implications of a Corbyn Foreign Policy

New Perspectives on Shared Security: NATO’s Next 70 Years

New Perspectives on Shared Security: NATO’s Next 70 Years

Transatlantic Cooperation in an Era of Crisis and Competition

Transatlantic Cooperation in an Era of Crisis and Competition

All Commentary

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All Scholarship

Media Coverage

Peter Rough is quoted in Mosaic on why and how the U.S. should salvage the alliance with Turkey.

Peter Rough is quoted in PBS on how the European Parliament’s elections could impact the future of Brexit.

Peter Rough is quoted by Foreign Affairs on whether the U.S. needs to step down from regional issues in the Middle East.

Peter Rough quoted by Yahoo on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Peter Rough quoted by TRT on U.S. reimposing sanctions on Iran

Peter Rough quoted in Neues Deutschland on American democracy and Trump. (To view in PDF format, click here.)

Peter Rough interviewed by SRF Radio, Switzerland, on President Trump’s Middle East Policy

Peter Rough profiled in Thüringische Landeszeitung

Peter Rough profiled in Kleine Zeitung (Part 1, Part 2)

Peter Rough profiled in Kurier

Peter Rough quoted in Handelsblatt Global on the German-American alliance

Peter Rough featured in BESA Center debate on the Iran uprising

Peter Rough featured in Foreign Policy’s “Elephants in the Room” first year review of President Trump

Hudson’s event, Geostrategic Ramifications of the Crisis in Turkey, written up in Philos Project