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The Atlantic Council recently announced two ambitious new initiatives: the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. The two centers plan to work closely and will significantly expand the Council’s focus on advancing greater transatlantic cooperation to address emerging security and economic challenges.

“These new initiatives underscore our mission of renewing the Atlantic Community to tackle the most crucial global issues of our times,” said Senator Chuck Hagel, Atlantic Council chairman. “Through this work, we also embrace President Obama’s recently stated vision for the transatlantic community as a global catalyst,” he added.

The Scowcroft Center, which will begin its work next year following a capital campaign, will considerably expand the Council’s longstanding work on international security issues. Named for two-time National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, the Center will reflect his legacy of principled, consistent non-partisan foreign policy leadership in close cooperation with transatlantic allies and global partners. General James L. Jones, President Obama’s former national security adviser and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, will serve as the Scowcroft Center’s founding chairman.

The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East will begin its work at a time of dramatic change across the region. Named for the Lebanese Prime Minister who was slain in 2005, the Center will reflect Rafik Hariri’s efforts to rise above the region’s sectarianism and promote innovative policies to advance economic and political liberalization, sustainable conflict resolution, and greater regional and international integration.

The Center will endeavor to more closely bind the Middle East with North America and Europe by bringing together the best ideas and expertise from all three regions. Among other initiatives, the Hariri Center will name senior fellows from the Middle East and North Africa – and from Europe. It also will build a transatlantic network working closely with partner institutions throughout the Mideast, Europe, and Russia. The Council will also appoint an advisory board of leading players from those regions.

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