Elan Journo

Fellow and Director of Policy Research
Ayn Rand Institute


  • Foreign policy
  • Individual rights
  • Ethics in foreign policy
  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Islamist movement
  • Middle East culture
  • Iran
  • Moral foundations of freedom
  • Culture & society
  • Government & business

Elan Journo is a fellow and director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand Institute. He writes and speaks for ARI; he is a senior editor; he teaches at the Objectivist Academic Center; and he leads the Junior Fellows Program in Policy Research and Legal Studies.


He specializes in the application of Rand’s ethics of rational egoism to public policy issues, and his research and writing focus on American foreign policy. His 2009 book, Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism, analyzes post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy from the perspective of Rand’s philosophy. He is co-author, with Onkar Ghate, of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond. His upcoming book examines American policy toward the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Journal of International Security Affairs, Middle East Quarterly, The Claremont Review of Books and in popular media outlets, including The Federalist, Foxnews.com, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Australia’s Herald Sun and Canada’s Globe and Mail. He has been interviewed on Fox News Channel, PBS, NPR and hundreds of radio programs nationally and internationally.


Mr. Journo has briefed congressional staffers and speaks regularly at conferences and university campuses, including Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, New York University, George Mason University and the U.S. Naval Academy.


Mr. Journo holds a BA in philosophy from King’s College, London, and an MA in diplomacy from SOAS, University of London.

Career Roles


Introduction and Intermediate writing, Core Courses
Objectivist Academic Center
2005 – present

Program Lead

Junior Fellows Program in Policy Research
Ayn Rand Institute
2012 – present

Writer and Editor

Rand's ideas; Policy issues
Ayn Rand Institute


Foreign policy; Middle East
Ayn Rand Institute

Selected Work


Leadership Program of the Rockies, Denver, CO, May 7, 2015

Closing In on Iran’s Nuclear Capability — Panel Discussion November 26, 2013

Oslo @ Twenty: “Costs and Consequences of the Peace Process” September 29, 2013

“Twenty Years After Oslo: Where Next for U.S. Policy?” September 10, 2013

“Europe’s Last Stand? Debt, Demography and the Abandonment of National Sovereignty” June 09, 2013

“Global Governance vs. National Sovereignty” June 10, 2012

Seton Hall University Panel on the Arab Spring March 29, 2012

Symposium: “9/11 — A Decade Later: Lessons for the Future” September 08, 2011

UCLA Conference: “The Philosophic Foundations of Freedom” January 30, 2010

“Iran, the Islamist Threat and American Policy” November 12, 2009

Talks & Lectures

The Jihadist Movement

The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

The “Virtue of Selfishness”? Ayn Rand’s Ethics of Egoism in Your Own Life

“An Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Ideas”

“Our Unwinnable Wars?”

“What’s America’s Stake in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?”

“The Islamic World and the West Today” [lecture course]

“Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict” [lecture course]

“The Distinctiveness of an Egoistic Foreign Policy” [lecture course]

Media Interviews

“Dealing with Iran” October 29, 2010

“Iran’s Religious Regime” April 01, 2013

“Passivity in the Face of Violence” February 01, 2013

"Green on Blue Attacks Rise. Time to Raise White Flag in Afghanistan and Iraq?" June 13, 2013

“Appeasement in the Middle East: Is Obama’s Policy of Weakness to Blame for Muslim Rage?” September 24, 2012

“Do Americans Know the Enemy?” November 12, 2010

“The United Nations” April 26, 2010