William McCants, Ph.D. is a fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World of the Brookings Institution. He is also adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and has held various government and think tank positions related to Islam, the Middle East, and terrorism. From 2009-2011, McCants served as a U.S. State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He has also held positions as program manager of the Minerva Initiative for the Department of Defense; an analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and SAIC; and a fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. McCants’ book, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam, traces the history of cultural debate in the Middle East after the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs conquered the region.