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Tamara Cofman Wittes is a senior fellow and the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. Wittes served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East for the State Department. Wittes additionally oversaw the Middle East Partnership Initiative and served as deputy special coordinator for Middle East transitions. She was central to organising the U.S. government's response to the Arab awakening. [+]