Helena Cobban, born 1952, is a British-American writer and researcher on international relations, with special interests in the Middle East, the international system, and transitional justice.
Ms. Cobban was educated at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, where she received her BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Economics in 1973. She was awarded an MA from Oxford in 1981.
From 1974 through 1981, she worked as a Beirut-based correspondent for news outlets including The Christian Science Monitor, The Sunday Times, ABC News, and the BBC.
In 1982 she moved to the United States to take up a research fellowship at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, where she wrote her first book, "The Palestinian Liberation Organisation". It was published in English in 1984, was translated into Arabic and several other languages, and remains in print.
Since then she has published six additional books: three others on questions of Middle East war and peace, and three on other international issues. Her seventh book, "Re-engage! American and the World After Bush" was published in 2008. Rep. Lee Hamilton, Co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, described it as, "An impassioned, thought-provoking, and accessible brief from a highly esteemed journalist on how all of us, as individuals, can act to help better our country and world." She has also contributed chapters to around 20 scholarly books edited by others.
From 1990 through 2007, Ms. Cobban contributed a regular column on global issues to "The Christian Science Monitor", and from 1993 through 2006 she contributed a separate column to the Arabic-language international daily "Al-Hayat".
Since February 2003 she has published "Just World News", a blog on global issues that has gained a broad international readership and has been cited in "Le Monde diplomatique" and many other places. She is a Contributing Editor at Boston Review, where she has published essays on Palestinian-Israeli issues, Iraq, and post-conflict justice questions.
In October 2009, Ms. Cobban took up a position as Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington DC-based nonprofit organization; she resigned from CNI in February 2010.
She is a member of the Charlottesville, Virginia meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and has been active in several Quaker organizations. She sits on the Corporation of Haverford College, in Haverford, Pennsylvania.