Katherine Zoepf is the author of Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who are Transforming the Arab World, which was published by the Penguin Press in 2016. Her reporting and writing have appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker, among other publications. A fellow at New America since 2010, she has taught journalism at New York University since 2015.
John Eric Podgore is an attorney based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates – where he has lived for over a decade. Having been a partner in the Dubai office of a major international law firm, John is now assisting (in-house) a former client with a suite of energy and infrastructure projects being led from Dubai. John is the immediate past President of the American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates (and remains an ex officio member of its board). John is fluent in several dialects of Arabic (having been raised largely in the Middle East to American parents), and he is a graduate of Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department (A.B. magna cum laude). John was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study at Damascus University’s Faculty of Law following his undergraduate studies at Princeton, and was awarded multiple Foreign Language Area Studies (“FLAS”) Scholarships while pursuing his JD at Duke University’s School of Law. A short documentary regarding John’s experience with the Arabic language is found at ispeakarabic.com.