Zack Gold
Associate Research Analyst


Zack Gold is an expert in U.S. Middle East policy, violent extremism, and non-state armed groups. He specializes in Egyptian politics and security and is an internationally recognized authority on terrorism and counterterrorism in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. At CNA, his recent research topics include U.S. efforts against Al-Qaeda, transnational challenges to U.S. national security, North Africa maritime capacity, and Balkans instability.

Prior to joining CNA, Gold was a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council's Hariri Center; a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv; and a researcher at The Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He is the author of book chapters and research papers on Egyptian security, including the 2016 International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague report, "Salafi Jihadist Violence in Egypt's North Sinai: From Local Insurgency to Islamic State Province."

Gold earned his M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University; and his B.A. in political science and communication from the University of Delaware. He twice received the Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Oman and Egypt, and also studied Arabic at The American University in Cairo. He is proficient in Arabic.


July 25, 2019

Zack Gold and William Rosenau write, "The Cold War and the Global War on Terror suggest that the future of conflict will more likely be limited to indirect skirmishes at the fringes of great-power influence."

Defense One: "The Future of Conflict Is Proxy Warfare, Again"

June 19, 2019

Zack Gold says, "In the long term, it would be concerning if the government pre-emptively arrested large numbers out of concern for street protests or other outbursts in the wake of Morsi's death."

AFP: "Egypt's Morsi Likely 'More Popular' After Death"

May 29, 2019

Zack Gold says, "Importantly, but unlikely, the transfer of Ashmawy to Egypt could reveal details about a number of terrorist attacks in Egypt from 2013 onward."

Yahoo: "Egypt Jihadist Returned from Libya to Face Terror Charges"

March 11, 2019

Zack Gold says, "Remnants of the group [ISIS] continue to shift around the northeast of the Sinai Peninsula while the military operates more statically."

Middle East Online: "Egypt Still Fighting Jihadists in Sinai One Year On"

December 29, 2018

Zack Gold says, “Yesterday's attack undermines the Egyptian government's very determined message that the country is safe for tourists."

The Daily Star: “Egypt Kills 40 'Terrorists' in Crackdown After Giza Attack”

November 23, 2018

Zack Gold says, “Does killing the top leaders really decapitate the group or affect its long-term capacities? I frankly can't determine any difference in the way the group operates after these killings – why is it still able to lay down roadside IEDs on a near daily basis?” “A Bloody Year in Sinai”