Meet Elan

Elan Journo, a vice president and senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, is an expert on American foreign policy, Ayn Rand’s thought, and the intersection of moral ideas and public policy.

Elan’s is the author of What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2018). He is co-author with Onkar Ghate of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond (2016). It was hailed as “heartbreakingly rational, masterfully reasoned, entirely clear, prescient” by Phyllis Chesler; a “moral tour de force” by philosopher Jason Hill; and “a brilliant collection of essays” by historian Efraim Karsh. The second expanded edition of this book, retitled Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: What Went Wrong After 9/11, was published in 2021. He co-edited Illuminating Ayn Rand: Essays from New Ideal, the Journal of the Ayn Rand Institute (2022)

Elan’s first book, Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism (2009), analyzes Bush-era foreign policy. The late Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins and Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum were among the scholars and public intellectuals who praised the book, which is featured in university courses.

Elan has published in Foreign Policy, Skeptic Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, The Journal of International Security Affairs, and the Claremont Review of Books. His commentary has appeared in many popular outlets, including Areo Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Australia’s Herald Sun, Canada’s Globe and Mail, Times of Israel, Los Angeles Times, Spiked, The Jerusalem Post, and The Hill. He is a senior editor of ARI’s journal, New Ideal.

Elan has appeared on countless radio programs (NPR, syndicated talk radio) and TV interviews (Fox News, PBS). He briefs congressional staff and speaks at universities across North America.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, and raised in the United Kingdom, Elan holds a BA in philosophy from King’s College London and an MA in diplomacy from SOAS, University of London.

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