H.A. Hellyer was a nonresident fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, and a Research Associate at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Harvard University. Formerly the first Middle Eastern-based Senior Practice Consultant at Gallup, Hellyer was previously Ford Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. A UN Global Expert in his subject areas, including Arab politics, pluralism, religion and security issues in the West and the Arab world, Hellyer was appointed as Deputy Convenor of the U.K. Government’s Taskforce on ’Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism’ after the London bombings in 2005. He also served as the U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) first Economic and Social Research Council Fellow as part of the ’Islam Team’ and then the ’Counter-Terrorism Team’ as a Warwick University academic with FCO security clearance.
Hellyer’s expertise in Arab politics, contemporary Islamist political movements, and security issues has been called upon by different governmental and non-governmental actors including the U.K. House of Commons, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. State Department, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He has authored several books and monographs, and has contributed more than 25 book chapters and journal articles to various presses. Some of his more recent publications include “Muslims of Europe: the ’Other’ Europeans” for Edinburgh University Press, “Engagement with the Muslim Community and Counter-Terrorism: British Lessons for the West” for the Brookings Institution Press, and “The Chance for Change in the Arab World: Egypt’s Uprising” for Chatham House’s Journal of International Affairs. Hellyer’s academic career, where he continues to look at political philosophy, and the interaction between tradition and modernity, has included affiliations at the American University in Cairo and the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies of the University of Oxford. He was also appointed as visiting professor at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, upon the recommendation of its chancellor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, the wife of the Sultan of Johor.
To professionalize political advisory, commercial research and media services on the Muslim world/MENA-West relations, Hellyer founded the VC Group as a research consortium for consultants in North America, Europe, the MENA region and Southeast Asia; its subject matter expertise is widely utilized by thought leaders in media, business and other sectors. As part of his consultancy work, Hellyer has been appointed in a variety of capacities looking at Arab-West relations, including as Senior Academic Advisor for Soliya, the UN Alliance of Civilisations implementation organization, and as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the ’American in Arabic’ television series hosted by the ’Arab Jon Stewart’, Bassem Youssef, recently made one of Time 100’s most influential people.
He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (U.K., Bahrain, U.S.A., & Singapore), the British Society of Middle East Studies, Fellow of the Young Foundation (U.K.), and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (U.S.A.). He has authored several hundred op-eds and media submissions for publications such as the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, the National (Abu Dhabi) and the Egypt Independent (Cairo), he is regularly interviewed by the press and hosted on TV programs such as the BBC Doha Debates.