Special Event: Interview With A Dictator


Interview with a Dictator: Talking with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Jonathan Tepperman
In Conversation with Scott Anderson

June 1, 2015. 7 PM.
The civil war in Syria recently entered its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, 2015, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman travelled to Damascus for an exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the conflict. This was Assad’s first interview by an American journalist since 2013. 

What was it like to interview the Syrian dictator? Was Tepperman able to see through Assad's rhetoric? As the country’s ongoing civil war leads to increased fragmentation and a humanitarian crisis, what is the future of Syrian leadership and Assad himself? What is the appropriate response from the West — and specifically what are the obligations of journalists covering the region? Leading the conversation with Tepperman will be writer Scott Anderson, who himself has just returned from the Syrian war theater. Please join us for the very special evening.     
Jonathan Tepperman is the Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

Tepperman has spent close to 20 years working on international affairs as an editor, writer, and analyst. He started his career in foreign policy working as a speechwriter at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland in 1994. After stints as a reporter at The Forward and The Jerusalem Post, he joined Foreign Affairs in 1998 as a junior editor. He later moved to Newsweek International, where he was deputy editor (under Fareed Zakaria), and then worked as a political risk consultant before returning to Foreign Affairs in January 2011.

Tepperman has written for a range of publications, including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and others, on subjects ranging from international affairs to men’s fashion to municipal politics. Apart from Assad, Tepperman has interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, including Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Indonesia’s Joko Widodo, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. He is the co-editor of the books The U.S. vs Al Qaeda (2011) Iran and the Bomb (2012), and The Clash of Ideas (2012), and is currently writing a book on how to solve the world’s toughest economic and political challenges.

Tepperman has a B.A. in English from Yale, an M.A. in law from Oxford, and an LL.M. in law from New York University. He is Vice Chairman of the Halifax International Security Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Fellow of the New York Institute of Humanities. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.
photo by Robert Clark
Scott Anderson is a war correspondent and novelist who has covered foreign conflicts on five continents over the past two decades. He wrote the novels Triage and Moonlight Hotel . His non-fiction books include The Man Who Tried to Save the World, The 4 O'Clock Murders, War Zones and international bestseller and National Book Critics Award finalist Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

A contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, his work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, Outside, Men's Journal and many other publications.
Share by: