Charles P Schmitz
Department of Geography and Environmental Planning
8000 York Rd
Baltimore, MD 21252
Tel. (410) 704-2966


Ph.D. (Geography), University of California at Berkeley, Spring 1997
“State and Market in Southern Yemen”
M.A. (Geography), University of California at Berkeley, 1992.
“Social Impact of Mechanization in Egyptian Agriculture”
B.S. (Conservation and Resource Studies), University of California at
Berkeley, 1982.

Fellowships and Awards

Foreign Language and Area Studies, 1990-3, Support for the study of Arabic at UCB

Social Science Research Council Pre-dissertation Fellowship, 1991-2, funding for two semesters of specialized course work at UCB and a summer of language studies at the American University in Cairo

Fulbright Scholarship (IIE), 1993-4, funding for dissertation research in Yemen September 1993- May 1994

American Institute of Yemeni Studies, Research Fellow, 1993-4

Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2011, two grants funding for outreach to smaller liberal arts colleges in support of the teaching about Islam

US State Department, Education and Cultural Affairs, through the Council of America Overseas Research Centers, funding for academic conference on Yemen in Istanbul, June 2011

Teaching Experience
Fall 2012         Professor, Geography, Towson University
Fall 2005         Associate Professor, Geography, Towson University
Fall 1999         Assistant Professor, Geography, Towson University

Consultant work
2004 – 2009 Linguistic and cultural interpreter for the Judge Advocacy General defense team, Office of the Military Commissions, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

2005-2014 President of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies
2009-2015 Board of Directors, Council of American Overseas Research Centers
2012-2015 Board of Directors, Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies
2011-present Affiliated Scholar at Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.

Recent Publications

“A Parasitic Political Economy,” in Amat Alsoswa and Noel Brehony (eds.), Building a New Yemen: Transition and International Community. London: I.B. Taurus (2021).

“Weighing the Tribal Factor in Yemen’s Informal Politics,” in Suzi Mirgani (ed.), Informal Politics in the Middle East. London: Hurst Publishers (2021).

“Yemen, the Forgotten Conflict,” for the OASIS International Foundation of Milan (, 14 September 2018.

“Yemeni Economy,” in The Middle East and North Africa 2018. Routledge (2018)

Schmitz, Charles, and Robert Burrowes. Historical Dictionary of Yemen, 3rd edition.  Routledge (2017).

“Yemen’s Importance to Saudi Arabia,” The Cipher Brief, 24 Feb 2017.

“Ironic Zaydis in Yemen,” Maydan, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. 19 October 2016.

“Yemen Factions, Saudi Arabia Escalate Aimless War,” Middle East Institute, 11 Oct 2016

“Resources and Conflict in Yemen,” Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Sept 2016

“Why Yemen is not an American Priority,” in Real Clear Politics, September 2016  republished at the Middle East Institute

“The War in Yemen,” with Paul Salem, September 2016 a podcast by the Middle East Institute

“There are no Clear Winners in the Saudi War on Yemen,” with Kourosh Ziabari, The Fair Observer July 2016

“Labor, Investment, and Natural Resources in the Yemeni Economy,” in Brehony, Noel, and Saud al-Sarhan (eds.) Rebuilding Yemen: Political, Economic, and Social Challenges. Berlin and London: Gerlach Press. (2015) pp. 78-97

“Yemen as Global Frontier,” in The Arab World Geographer / Le Géographe du monde arabe Vol 18, no 1-2 (2015) 83-90

“Negotiating Yemeni Peace: Deep Divisions and Hard Realities,” Middle East Institute, 10 June, 2015.

“No Winners in Yemen,” Middle East Institute, 28 September 2015.

“ISIS in Yemen,” The Cipher Brief, 8 Dec 2015.

“Yemen: Failing State or Failing Politics?” in Mehran Kamrava 2015 Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East. New York: Oxford University Press.

“The Fall of Amran and the Future of the Islah Party,” on the Middle East Institute, August 25 2014,

“The Huthi Ascent to Power,” on the Middle East Institute, 15 September, 2014

“Yemen’s Uncharted Political Landscape,” on the Middle East Institute, 31 October 2014,

“The Houthis’ Rise and Obama’s Legacy in Yemen,” on the Middle East Institute, 4 November 2014

“Yemen’s National Dialogue,” Middle East Institute Policy Paper 2014-1, February 2014

“Obama, Guantanamo, and the Devil in the Details,” Middle East Institute, June 25, 2013

“Geography” and “Economy,” in Caton, Steven, ed. Yemen: Middle East in Focus, Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio 2013.

“Building a Better Yemen,” The Carnegie Papers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 2012

“Crisis in the Yemeni Economy: a Troubled Transition to Post-Hydrocarbon Growth,” Scholar Policy Paper, Middle East Institute, December 2011

“Understanding the Role of Tribes in Yemen,” CTC Sentinel, October 2011

“Yemen’s Unhappy Ending,” Foreign Policy, 9/27/2011

“Yemen Without Saleh,” Foreign Policy, 6/8/2011

“Yemen’s Tribal Showdown,” Foreign Affairs, 6/3/2011

“Who’s in the Yemeni Opposition, Anyway?” Foreign Policy, 4/12/2011

“Cooperation and Conflict: Analyzing the US Yemeni relationship,” in Mardini, Ramzi (ed.) The Battle for Yemen, Washington DC: Jamestown Foundation, 2010.

“Notes on Yemeni Detainees in Guantanamo,” Yemen Update January 2009

“Politics and Economy in Yemen” in Kamil A. Mahdi, Anna Würth, and Helen Lackner (eds.) Yemen into the Twenty-first Century: continuity and change. Reading, UK: Ithaca Press, 2007. Pp. 31-52

“Yemeni Reflections on Guantanamo and American Efforts for Political Reform in the Arab World,” Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2006

“The Legal Battle for Guantánamo,” Middle East Report and Information Project (MERIP) Online Interventions, Spring 2005