The Red Sea region is among the world’s most strategic maritime corridors, vital to global trade and naval access to the Western Indian Ocean and broader Indo-Pacific. It’s also an increasingly volatile geographic zone, beset by an array of challenges that threaten the security and prosperity of littoral countries and much of the international community. These include Great and Middle power competition; economic and demographic pressures; rapid ecological change; and weakening states and the proliferation of violent non-state actors.
Michael Woldemariam is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for International & Security Studies at Maryland. Woldemariam’s teaching and research interests are in African security studies, with a particular focus on armed conflict in the Horn of Africa. Woldemariam’s scholarly work has been published in a wide-range of peer-reviewed journals and his popular essays have appeared in outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and Current History. His first book, Insurgent Fragmentation in the Horn of Africa: Rebellion and Its Discontents, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2018. In addition to his scholarly work, Woldemariam has consulted with a number of international organizations, primarily on issues related to politics, governance, and security in the Greater Horn of Africa region.
Prior to joining Maryland, Woldemariam was a faculty member at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and the Director of its African Studies Center. He has also worked as a research specialist with Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies program and held fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Penn State’s African Research Center. In 2020-21, Woldemariam served on the Democratic staff at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Mike Woldemariam will discuss what these emerging dynamics mean for the people of the Red Sea region and the world, and address how interested stakeholders—including the United States—might promote stability in a critical maritime artery that has become a microcosm of the challenges and opportunities of 21st century global politics.
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