About Hossein Askari

Hossein AskariHossein Askari was born in Iran and received his elementary and secondary education in the United Kingdom. He then came to the United States where he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering, attended the Sloan School of Management and received his Ph.D. in Economics, all at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an instructor at MIT, and started his academic career at the age of twenty-three as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University, becoming an Associate Professor at Wayne State University, and Professor of International Business and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 1978, before coming to George Washington University (GW) in 1982, where he has served as Chairman of the International Business Department and as Director of the Institute of Global Management and Research and is now the Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs.

He served for two and a half years on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund and was Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance of Saudi Arabia; in this capacity he frequently spoke for Saudi Arabia at the IMF Executive Board; he developed the idea for a special Quota increase for Saudi Arabia, giving Saudi Arabia an effective permanent seat on the Board; and he assisted in the negotiations of a $10 billion loan to the IMF.   During the mid-1980s he directed an international team that developed the first comprehensive domestic, regional and international energy models and plan for Saudi Arabia. During 1990-1991 he was asked by the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia to act as an intermediary to restore diplomatic relations; and in 1992 he was asked by the Emir of Kuwait to mediate with Iran.

Hossein Askari has written extensively on economic development in the Middle East, Islamic economics and finance, international trade and finance, agricultural economics, oil economics and on economic sanctions, including twenty books, six monographs, over one hundred refereed journal articles and a number of chapters in books and numerous magazine web-based articles.

He has written over two hundred opinion pieces in the NYT, WP, LAT, IHT, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, US New and World Report, Foreign Policy, the National Interest Online, Asia Times Online and in other newspapers and websites. He is regular contributor to Asia Times Online. He has advised ministers of finance, heads of central banks, oil ministers and other officials in the Persian Gulf on economic development policy, oil policy, and on international trade and finance. In the past, he has been a consultant to a number of institutions and corporations, including: the OECD, the World Bank, the IFC, the APDF, the IFU, the United Nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Planning of Saudi Arabia, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC), the US General Accounting Office (GAO), Bechtel, First National Bank of Chicago, Eastman (Kodak) Chemical, Litton Industries, Hydril Company, Northwest Industries, Sunoco and ARCO International.

His courses at GW are focused on economic, human and political development in the Middle East, conflicts and wars in the Middle East, the political economy of oil and on Islamic economics and finance.