William McCants Keynote Speaker

  • Leading expert on Islam and extremist use of digital media
  • Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy
  • Author, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State (2015)

William McCants's Biography

William McCants Ph.D. is an expert on Islam, the Middle East and terrorism and a leading authority on extremist use of digital media and online criminal networks.

William is a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World of the Brookings Institution. 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, William served as a U.S. State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He has also held positions as program manager of the Minerva Initiative for the Department of Defense; an analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and SAIC; and a fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.

William is author of a number of highly regarded books on the Middle East including, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam, which traces the history of cultural debate in the Middle East after the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs conquered the region. His latest book, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophesy shaped the Islamic State’s past and foreshadow its dark future.

In 2016, Politico magazine named Will one of it’s 50 leading thinkers (#30).

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Videos of William McCants

Terrorism: Behind the Headlines
Terrorism: Behind the Headlines

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