You are here: American University Profiles Students Sara Harmouch

Back to top

Photograph of Sara Harmouch

Sara Harmouch Justice, Law and Criminology (PhD)

Sara is a Doctoral Candidate at American University (Washington D.C.). She holds graduate degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia) and the Daniel Morgan Graduate School (Now part of Texas A&M Bush School in Washington D.C.) and completed her B.A. from Lynn University (Boca Raton, Florida).

Sara Harmouch is a Doctoral Candidate at American University. She is a Lebanese national and defense policy researcher specializing in state and violent non-state actors' behaviors, asymmetric warfare, political violence, militant groups, violent transnational extremism, and radical Islamic terrorism. She spent her formative years under extremist rule and subsequently dedicated her life to understanding militant groups’ behavior through fieldwork and education.

Harmouch’s recent contributions range from briefing NATO on religious militant groups and advising Denmark media in the aftermath of the Quran burning to providing assessments to the U.S. government and the private sector on militant groups' influence regionally and globally.

Harmouch’s research experience is extensive. At the RAND Corporation, she used geopolitical forecasting tools to offer insights for the National Intelligence Council. She also conducted research for the U.S. Special Operations and Indo-Pacific Commands. Besides these roles, she has worked with the American Enterprise Institute, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

Her recent publications include “How much influence does Iran have over its proxy ‘Axis of Resistance’ − Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis?” The Conversation; “The Extremist Domino Effect of October 7” Irregular Warfare Initiative; “Al-Qaeda: A Defeated Threat? Think Again,” and “The Question of Succession in Al-Qaeda,” War on the Rocks; “Al-Qaeda's Looming Threat: Are We Looking Over the Wrong Horizon?” Lawfare Blog; “The Hamas-Israel Conflict and Its Global and Regional Implications” Orion Policy Institute; and “New Group Threatens Lebanese Elections…and Potentially Middle East Peace,” The Globe Post. She also contributes to Voice of America and Long War Journal, among others.

Harmouch, fluent in Arabic, French, and English, has conducted fieldwork across Lebanon, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. In these pursuits, she's interviewed members of extremist organizations such as Hezbollah and Jama’a Islamiya.
See Also