Dirk is a professor of Government at Dartmouth College, and teaches a course on business practice
in the Arab Gulf states at the Amos Tuck School of Business. He holds a Masters in International Affairs and a Ph.D. from Columbia University (1988). A two-time regional Fulbright fellow (Morocco, Arab Gulf, Yemen), Dirk specializes in institutional solutions and designs for weak financial, regulatory, educational, and business environments in North Africa, the Arab Gulf, and in sub-Saharan fragile states.
Dirk served as Political Advisor to Ian Martin, the United National Special Envoy in Libya, in Summer 2011, and then became the Senior Political Advisor to the Carter Center’s electoral mission to Libya. He was appointed Senior Advisor on Democratic Transitions for the Carter Center’s mission in Libya in 2013-14 until the mission closed due to security issues. He is Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Current World Affairs in Washington D.C.
Dirk is the author of two standard works on Libya: “Oil and State-building” (1998) and “A History of Modern Libya” (2006; 2012; third edition forthcoming) and of several edited volumes and dozens of academic articles on North Africa. In addition to his academic work on the politics of economic development in the Middle East and the developing world, Dirk has written extensively for policy journals and magazines of general interest, including Newsweek, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs. He has appeared on several occasions on Al Jazeera, CNN, the Charlie Rose Show, the PBS Newshour, ABC, CBS and BBC as well as Australian and European television and radio outlets. He has repeatedly been interviewed by virtually all major global newspapers, and has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Libya, and before numerous State Department committees, international agencies and regional banks involved in the reconstruction of Libya and in development in North Africa, and in front of several parliamentary commissions in Europe.