Dr. William McCants

Will McCants is a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution and director of its Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. He is also adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and has held various government and think tank positions related to Islam, the Middle East, and terrorism. From 2009-2011, McCants served as a U.S. State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism.

He is the founder of Jihadica.com, an academic group blog focused on the global jihadi movement. The blog has been featured on the cover of the New York Times, and described byWired magazine’s Danger Room as “the gold standard in militant studies.” In 2011 and 2012, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its FP’s Top 100 “Twitterati.”

McCants is the author of numerous articles on Islamist politics and terrorism, including the headlining article of Foreign Affairs’ 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Edition. He also edited the Militant Ideology Atlas, which identified the key ideologues in the global jihadi movement, and also translated, from Arabic into English, a book written by an al Qaeda strategist.

His book, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam, traces the history of cultural debate in the Middle East after the Greeks, Romans and Arabs conquered the region. He is working on a second book about the scriptural history of the Koran. McCants has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has lived in Israel, Egypt and Lebanon.