Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 2014
Master of International Affairs, Columbia University, 2007
Nathan González Mendelejis is a political scientist working at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations. His focus is on ethnic and sectarian conflict in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Iran and its relations with its neighbors. He is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and a lecturer of Middle East politics at California State University, Long Beach.
Gonzalez's work on the Islamic State's ethnic character recently appeared in Salon magazine, and his English- and Spanish-language opinion has been featured in The Baltimore Sun,, NPR affiliates, The Huffington Post, Telemundo, AmericaTeve, and Foreign Policy.
Gonzalez is author of two books, Engaging Iran (Praeger 2007) and The Sunni-Shia Conflict (Potomac/Nortia 2009). The first book called for greater cooperation between Iran and the United States in fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq (now called ISIS), while the second book was a history of the Sunni-Shia conflict, offering a geopolitical explanation for the hardening of the two main branches of Islam over time. His third book will be based on his dissertation, which proposes a theoretical framework for understanding how borders affect ethnic and foreign relations in and among young states, particularly in the Middle East.
He speaks Spanish, Iranian Persian, German, and Italian, and once in a blue moon is an amateur composer of chamber and orchestral music.
On Twitter: @nathangonzalezm
"Nathan Gonzalez has written the first general, accessible account of the conflict within the House of Islam and its continuing impact on the politics of the region. ... The Sunni-Shia Conflict is a powerful and persuasive book. It should be obligatory reading for every policymaker caught up in the current maelstrom in the Middle East." --Anthony Pagden, author of Worlds at War
"Nathan Gonzalez knows Iran. His grasp of the country's culture, religion, and complex political structure is unmatched among American analysts." --Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Zealot
Selected Articles and Opinion
Debating the Iran nuclear deal, KPCC (NPR, Los Angeles) (2015)
(In Spanish) Commenting on the ISIS insurgency in Iraq, AmericaTeve (2014) (2:12)
On Iranian Shi’i politics, Denver Council on Foreign Relations (2010)
Original compositions by Nathan Gonzalez:
"Lo lejano" (Chamber orchestra)
Instrumentation: Oboe, clarinet, bassoon, strings
"Bajo estrellas que perdonan" (Orchestra)
Instrumentation: 2 flutes, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, 2 horns, harp, strings (muted)
"Running through Heather Fields" (Piano sextet)
Instrumentation: Piano, flute, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets
Resources created by Nathan Gonzalez:
Iranian government organizational chart, The Monkey Cage blog (via IPE@UNC)
(Note: As of 2015 Mohammad Yazdi (hard-liner) is head of the Assembly of Experts)