The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

Profile: The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

1- Name of NGO:

The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

2- Brief & Mission:

The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on fostering democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. POMED conducts research and analysis on the development of genuine democracies in the MENA region and explores ways in which the United States can effectively support this process.

It is worth noting that POMED has received funding from the UAE government. In some instances, POMED has published reports that have been perceived as favorable to the UAE and has actively promoted and defended UAE interests.

While POMED’s overarching goal is to examine democratic developments in the MENA region and promote democracy, its affiliations and publications have raised questions about its objectivity and potential influence of UAE interests on its work.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

POMED, the Project on Middle East Democracy, has faced criticism from some quarters due to their perceived pro-UAE stance. Detractors have alleged that the think tank maintains a close relationship with the UAE government and acts as a mouthpiece for their interests. They contend that POMED’s reports often exhibit a bias in favor of the UAE.

POMED operates several core programs, including the Research Program, Advocacy Program, and Regional Engagement Program, which critics argue are aligned with UAE interests. In response to these criticisms, POMED has defended its work, asserting a commitment to providing objective and balanced research on the Gulf Arab states. They emphasize that their funding from the UAE government does not compromise the integrity of their research. POMED maintains that they maintain a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and impartiality of their work.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Sources have made claims that this think tank actively advances the foreign policy objectives of the UAE, as its agenda closely aligns with the policies of the UAE government. It is also alleged that the institution is fully supported by the UAE government.

5- Sources of Funding:

Allegations have arisen suggesting that the think tank received funding from the UAE government.

6- Activities:

The institution has faced criticism for its work, with concerns raised that it lacks critical analysis and often portrays an excessively positive image of the UAE. Observers have noted that the institution’s activities align with the narrative favored by the UAE. It is not unusual for foreign government funding to come with certain expectations, such as organizing events that align with the UAE’s preferred narrative, selectively targeting specific audiences, producing opinion pieces and research papers, and fostering relationships to strengthen connections and influence.

7- NGO Leadership:

Tess McEnery is Executive Director of a think tank. 

8- Controversy:

According to reports, the institution, acting on behalf of the UAE’s interests, has exerted significant influence over media narratives through close collaboration with journalists and reporters from various mainstream media outlets. It is a typical practice for foreign government funding to involve certain expectations, such as organizing events that promote the UAE’s desired narrative, selectively inviting specific audiences, generating opinion pieces and research papers, and fostering relationships to enhance their level of influence. The primary objective of the think tank is to safeguard and advance the interests of the UAE.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:
  • Address:USA
  • Email:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The think tankl has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE governments.

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