Jo-Anne Hart

Visiting Scholar in International and Public Affairs
Research Interests Cybersecurity, International Institutions, Nuclear Weapons, US Foreign Policy, Warfare & Peacekeeping
Areas of Interest Iran's internal politics and foreign policy, US-Iranian security relations, conflict resolution, negotiation, and threat reduction, Middle East political change, social context of technology, teaching and learning political literacy.


Jo-Anne Hart is adjunct professor at the Watson Institute and a professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

She graduated from UCLA and received a fellowship to study Persian language at NYU, where she also received a PhD in political science. In addition to Lesley, she has taught at Brown, the Naval War College in Newport, RI, and Barnard College / Columbia University.

Hart also works as a practitioner in international conflict resolution: she is active with the international peacemaking NGO Search for Common Ground. Hart is a convener of a US-Iranian working group on avoiding incidents at sea in the Persian Gulf and she regularly participates in trainings with the US Army on mutual threat reduction. Hart has years of experience in security decision making exercises both as a participant at the national level and in designing simulations to support her own teaching. She briefs senior military leaders and lectures widely in the US and abroad. At Lesley, she teaches Contemporary Middle East History and global interdisciplinary studies.


Domestic Sources of Iranian Foreign Policy and US-Iranian Security

My academic research has been on understanding the internal politics behind foreign policy behavior. I have written on the application of deterrence theory in Persian Gulf security politics and on the role in foreign policy of perception and misperception.

Conflict Resolution and Negotiation in the Middle East

My applied work has allowed me to participate directly in a series of hands-on negotiation projects centered on the Middle East, dating from 1988 to the present. I also conduct a series of briefings for military leaders on conflict avoidance with Iran. I work with the US Army’s red team effort, University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies focusing on mutual threat reduction with Iran.

Teaching Political Literacy

I am the creator of a civics literacy project for pre-voters called designed to teach empowerment to participate in American political life, including voting when eligible. Since the presidential election of 2004, materials have been downloaded by teachers in every US state. The project produced its fourth edition for the 2016 election. 


Growing Voters and the Presidential Election. Project Creator, New 4th Edition, 2016. Online

“Democracy in America’s Backyard,” Opinion piece. Common Ground News Service, October 2012. Re-published Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, France, England, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco. Translated into Arabic, French, Urdu, and for Indonesia.

Growing Voters and the Presidential Election. Project and Website creator, New 3rd Edition, 2012. Online

“Perceptions and Courses of Action Towards Iran,” Military Review, Sept/October 2005.

Translated and published abroad:

"Newidiodd barddoniaeth fy mywyd i!" (Poetry Changed Me First: Understanding Place Through Poetry.) Barddas, Winter 2020. In Welsh. English translation here.

“Percepciones y Cursos de Acciόn con Respecto a Irán.”(translated)  Hispano American Military Review, February, 2006.

“تصورات ومسارات العمل تجاه ايران” (Perceptions of Iran), (translated) Arabic Military Review

 الطبعة العربية, 2006.

“Percepções e Linhas-de-Açao para o Irã” (translated) Brazilian Military Review, 2006.

Recent News

Jo-Anne Hart on, "Many state-level sanctions on Iran carry provisions allowing for their lifting if the federal government declares that state sanctions interfere with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy or are pre-empted by federal law."
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On Law360, "Research compiled by Sue Eckert and Jo-Anne Hart at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs indicates that 32 states and Washington, D.C., maintain some level of sanctions against companies doing business with Iran, further clouding an already uncertain compliance landscape."
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