Jacob L. Shapiro


About Jacob L. Shapiro - Distinguished Geopolitical Analyst and Speaker on International Affairs:

Jacob L. Shapiro is an independent writer, researcher, and consultant on geopolitical risk, global strategies, and international affairs. He combines over a decade’s worth of experience in advising numerous clients - on the historical, cultural, geographic, political, and economic forces that impact business and political decision-making. Shapiro accomplishes this with a human-centric approach that recognizes the agency and the constraints of individuals.

Complex global issues require new approaches and alternative ways of thinking – and that is exactly what Shapiro offers to his clients. Shapiro tailors his presentations to the specific needs and interests of each audience - in order to give them the perspective and knowledge they need to make better-informed decisions. His goal at the end of every presentation is simple: Shapiro wants his clients to walk out of the room smarter than when they walked in.

As the former director of analysis at Geopolitical Futures, he managed a team of analysts in forecasting geopolitical trends and events. Before that, he was Middle East analyst and director of operations at the global intelligence firm Stratfor.

Shapiro received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, where he discovered his love for history and geography. Today, he uses both to provide his clients with the context, foresight, and extensive analysis they need - to solve the unknown and enhance their understanding of global and regional affairs.

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What Jacob L. Shapiro Talks About:

A sample of customized, wide-ranging Keynote topics that Shapiro has presented over the past year, include the following:

Technology, Media, and the State: How the U.S. China Rivalry Will Shape the Future of Tech
Technology has become the key battleground in the emerging geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China. China’s perspective is shaped by its experiences in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its strategic goals are to unite the Eurasian continent into a Chinese-led geopolitical unit – and wean itself off of dependence on Western markets. The U.S.’ perspective is also rooted in history, based in part on aversion to rising continental Eurasian powers – and increasingly divisive domestic political issues. By way of the Korean War (really, the first U.S.-China War), the rise of the microchip, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, we will examine the root of the U.S.-China rivalry before diving into a close look at the Huawei issue – specifically, why the U.S. and its allies are so threatened by Chinese-built 5G, and why the emerging diplomatic spat over 5G is a precursor to far more serious competition and decoupling to come.

Iran and the Future of the Middle East
Since 1945, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been defined by two key goals: preventing the region from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union and guaranteeing U.S. access to the region’s vast energy supplies. Now, the Soviet Union is gone, and the shale revolution means the U.S. has all the oil it needs – and yet, the U.S. remains mired in conflict in the most unstable region in the world. As the Arab world tears itself apart, Iran and Turkey have reemerged as the two dominant powers in the region. The U.S. has a long and tortured history of involvement with Iran in particular – in 1953, the U.S. helped overthrow a popular secular and democratic Iranian Prime Minister, which continues today with a “maximum pressure” campaign designed to force regime change again. Meanwhile, Turkey is becoming stronger and more ambitious – a new Ottoman Empire in the making, while India and China’s dependence on the region is deepening. The future of the Middle East will not be defined by America – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Geopolitical Forces Shaping the World
Geopolitics is back. After a 27-year interregnum following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international political system is in a state of flux – featuring rising and falling great powers, zero-sum political competition, and heightened risk of global conflict. Climate change and population increase are threatening food and water security in Eurasia and Africa – while the appetites of rising powers like China and India are fundamentally reshaping global food markets. As the Islamic world continues to battle its demons and as the U.S. withdraws from the international order it helped build, there are tremendous opportunities ahead – but also pressing risks.

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 Recent Publications

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