Amy Hawthorne is the Founding Director of the Hollings Center.
"Amy Hawthorne, a specialist in Middle Eastern and Islamic affairs, was appointed as the Founding Director of the International Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue in January 2006. She is a frequent speaker, author, and media commentator on the Middle East, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on International Relations and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Previously, Ms. Hawthorne was an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she studied democracy in the Arab world and was the founding editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin. She also previously served as senior program officer for the Middle East and North Africa at IFES, where she managed programs to promote democracy in the region. Ms. Hawthorne has traveled extensively in the Middle East, and reads and speaks Arabic. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History, with honors, from Yale University and a Master’s degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan. As a graduate student, she received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, a Rackham Fellowship, an International Institute grant, and an award for her thesis on Islamic law. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt (1991-92). Ms. Hawthorne is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she served on the Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Arab Reform.“ 
"She was also previously Senior Program Officer for the Middle East at the International Foundation for Election Systems, a Washington-based democracy-promotion organization, where she designed and managed projects to promote governance and political participation in several Arab countries, and a Fulbright scholar in Egypt.“