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Haroon Ullah - The Perseus Books Group. Washington, D.C., DC, US

Haroon Ullah

Policy Planning Staff | U.S. Department of State

Washington, D.C., DC, UNITED STATES

A scholar, diplomat and author of widely acclaimed Bargain From The Bazaar and Vying for Allah's Vote. Visit



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Haroon K. Ullah is a scholar, diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East. Haroon grew up in a farming community in Washington State and was trained at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a senior Belfer fellow and completed his MPA.

Haroon has a PhD in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Michigan and was a William J. Fulbright fellow, a Harvard University presidential scholar, a National Security Education Program fellow, and a Woodrow Wilson Public Service fellow. He is also the author of Vying for Allah's Vote (Georgetown University Press, 2013).

His recent book, The Bargain From the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning, published in March 2014 by PublicAffairs, has received widespread praise and acclaim, including from the New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Seattle Times, NPR and Publisher's Weekly. Haroon currently serves on Secretary Kerry's Policy Planning Staff at the US State Department, focusing on public diplomacy, strategic policy and countering violent extremism.

Industry Expertise (9)

Media - Broadcast


Public Policy

International Trade and Development


International Affairs

Motion Pictures and Film

Government Relations

Media - Online

Areas of Expertise (10)

Public Policy



International Relations

Foreign Policy

International Rights


Human Rights

National Security

Political Science

Accomplishments (3)

U.S. William J. Fullbright Award for International Affairs (professional)


Prestigious congressionally mandated award to explore civil society and governance reforms in North Africa and Morocco.

Harvard University President Scholarship (professional)


Awarded by Harvard University

Term Member of Council on Foreign Relations (professional)


Program for promising leaders in government, media, nongovernmental organizations, law, business, finance, and academia to engage in a sustained conversation on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

Education (3)

University of Michigan: PhD, Comparative Politics and Public Policy 2008

Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government: Master's Degree, Public Administration in International Development 2002

Whitman College: B.A., Politics 1999

Affiliations (3)

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Harvard University
  • Council of Foreign Relations

Media Appearances (15)

Being Middle Class in Pakistan

Marketplace  online


Middle class life in Pakistan isn’t that different from middle class life in the United States, says Haroon Ullah. Or at least, he hopes you’ll come away with that message after reading his new book, “The Bargain at the Bazaar: A family’s day of reckoning in Lahore.” The book follows the Reza family and their three sons as they attempt to maintain normalcy in an increasingly tense environment.

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Vying for Allah's Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan

The Heritage Foundation  online


Speaking event hosted by the Heritage Foundation

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Why Haroon Ullah Is Optmistic About Pakistan's Future

NPR  radio


Steve Scher talks with U.S. diplomat and Seattle native Haroon Ullah about his book “The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore."

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A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

NPR  radio


Haroon Ullah knows the pace and color of daily life in Pakistan and the delicate balance between secular and religious culture. On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about the struggles of an ordinary middle-class family just trying to live life in a region that's seen constant upheaval.

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Islam and Politics in Pakistan

C-SPAN  tv


Panelists talked about the rise of Islamic political parties in Pakistan, and U.S.-Pakistan relations. Notable speakers included former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani.

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Islamists in Government: Do They Moderate Once in Power?

The Washington Institute  online


A senior State Department advisor and two Washington Institute scholars discuss what lessons can -- and cannot -- be drawn from the Islamist political experience in Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco, and other countries.

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Instant Issues Luncheon

World Affairs Council & Critical Connections  online


The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts joined with Critical Connections to present Haroon K. Ullah, an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

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Voice of America, "Cafe DC"  tv


Interview on Cafe DC

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A Shopkeeper, a Terrorist, and a Law Student: Haroon Ullah

The Mimi Geerges Show  radio


Interview on the Mimi Geerges Show

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Vying for Allah's Vote

Georgetown University Press  online


Haroon Ullah discusses his book, Vying for Allah's Vote.

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Interview: Haroon K. Ullah

The Diplomat  print


Author and State Department official Haroon K. Ullah on how the West should be dealing with Islamic parties.

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U.S. State Department diplomat turned author visits the metro

Fox News  tv


ANSAS CITY, Mo. — Haroon Ullah is a Harvard graduate, a diplomat working for the U.S. State Department, and now an author. He’s just released a new book called ‘Bargain from the Bazaar,’ in which he details what he experienced and learned after spending eight years in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Dr. Haroon Ullah, U.S. diplomat and author of Vying for Allah’s Vote

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh  radio


The Divine Endorsement? Islam and the Ballot Box

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Countering Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Lens

Johns Hopkins University - SAIS  online


Speakers discuss: Three myths of CVE/peacebuilding programs; Best practices in designing peacebuilding CVE programs in difficult places; The role of the middle class; How international peace building efforts can inform domestic peace building efforts; Violent extremism in the U.S. and peacebuilding efforts across the U.S.; Examples of CVE programming and a case study from Northern Nigeria; Where and how peacebuilding fits in CVE programs and how peacebuilding can inform CVE practice; The risks for peacebuilders engaging in CVE work

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Book Lust with Nancy Pearl Featuring Haroon Ullah

Seattle Channel  tv


Nancy and Haroon discuss how he came to write The Bargain from the Bazaar and how the family described in the book symbolizes the complexities of modern day Pakistan. He also talks about growing up South Asian just east of the Cascades in Richland, Washington

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Event Appearances (5)

Member to Member Lunch with Dr. Haroon Ullah: Rising Political Islam, Causes and Consequences for American Foreign Policy

World Affairs Council of Seattle  Seattle, WA


Instant Issues

World Affairs Council of Western Mass. and Critical Connections  Springfield, MA


Haroon Ullah: Political Violence and Extremism in Pakistan

International Relations Council of Kansas City, Saint Andrew Christian Church  Olathe, KS


Book talk/Signing

The Elliot Bay Book Company & Town Hall Seattle  Seattle, WA


Book Talk

Politics and Prose Book Store  Washington, D.C.


Sample Talks (2)

Divine Endorsement? Islamists, Voting Behavior and Political Violence

A look at the five myths about countering violent extremism and examining new trends in democratization.

A Journey from Small-Town America to the Middle East and South Asia

Exploring the global trends that influence America and its future.