Barbara Slavin
Acclaimed Journalist and Foreign Affairs Expert

Barbara Slavin is a regular contributor to,, and the author of a 2007 book on Iran entitled Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation. She served as assistant managing editor for World and National Security for the Washington Times from July 2008 until December 2009. Prior to joining the Times, she was senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, responsible for analyzing foreign news and U.S. foreign policy. Beginning in 1996, she covered such key issues as the U.S.-led war on terrorism and in Iraq, policy toward “rogue” states and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She accompanied three secretaries of State on their official travels and also reported from Iran, Libya, Israel, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Barbara, who has lived in Russia, China, Japan and Egypt, is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy on National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System and C-Span. She wrote her book on Iran, which she has visited seven times, as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2006 and spent October 2007-July 2008 as senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she researched and wrote a report on Iranian regional influence, entitled “Mullahs, Money and Militias: How Iran Exerts Its Influence in the Middle East.”


Prior to joining USA TODAY, she was a Washington-based writer for The Economist and the Los Angeles Times, covering domestic and foreign policy issues, including the 1991-93 Middle East peace talks in Washington. From 1985-89, she was The Economist’s correspondent in Cairo. She traveled widely in the Middle East, covering the Iran-Iraq war, the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya, the political evolution of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism. Earlier in the 1980’s, she served as The Economist’s correspondent in Beijing and also reported from Japan and South Korea.


Prior to moving abroad, she was a writer and editor for The New York Times Week in Review section and a reporter and editor for United Press International in New York City. She got her BA in Russian language and literature at Harvard University and also studied at Leningrad State University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Download Bio
Trade Paperback
Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies
Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation
St. Martin's Griffin

In Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, Barbara Slavin untangles the love-hate relationship between Iran and the United States that has brought the two countries to...

Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Here, Barbara discusses how the United States and Iran missed opportunities for reconciliation and what lies ahead in this difficult relationship.
The Bush Legacy in Foreign Affairs: Obama’s Challenges: Barbara draws on her vast expertise in outlining how the United States will recast itself on the international scene in the coming years.

Praise for Barbara Slavin “Barbara Slavin has had a unique opportunity to follow the difficult recent history of the United States and Iran and extraordinary access to high-level officials on both sides. She is a seasoned journalist and foreign policy expert whose insights about Iran should help Americans understand Iran and U.S. options for dealing with a fascinating, complicated, and crucial country.”
—Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

“Barbara Slavin is uniquely qualified to address in-depth and with insight a uniquely complex and significant challenge facing U.S. foreign policy.”
—Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

“I know Barbara Slavin as an accomplished, well-sourced journalist, who not only has a way with written words, but is equally eloquent when discussing foreign affairs during her frequent appearances on television.”
—Caryle Murphy, Washington Post reporter and author of Passion for Islam