Emily’s passion and expertise rests at the intersection of media, national security, and foreign policy. In September 2020, Emily joined ReThink Media as Program Director for Peace and Security. As Director, Emily serves as senior liaison to more than 50 groups and 10 collations working on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and arms control and defense spending and oversight. She works with NGO partners to drive powerful messaging and develop cohesive communications strategy informed by ReThink Media's cutting-edge polling and research.  


Before joining ReThink, Emily was a professorial lecturer at the School of Communication at American University and assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at University of Virginia. 

Blout holds a Ph.D. in History, Iranian Studies from the University of St. Andrews and a M.A. in Security Studies from the National Defense University. Before beginning her doctoral degree, Blout was a researcher at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where she researched non-proliferation and counter-terrorism policymaking at the National Security Council.

Dr. Blout is a contributing writer for the Atlantic Council, the Quincy Institute, The Conversation, and IranWire. Her scholarship can be found in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the Communication Review, the SAIS Review of International Affairs, and the Iranian American Bar Association’s Legal Review.   She has published commentary in Politico, The Hill, and the Huffington Post. She has been cited by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.  Guest appearances and interviews include Democracy Now and ABC News.

Her upcoming book, Media and Power in Modern Iran, looks at the role of mass communication in the legitimation of power in the modern and contemporary state.

Blout's work and scholarship is enriched by nearly a decade of experience working on foreign policy and national security issues in Washington, D.C.. Her background includes advising and serving as spokesperson for a senior member of Congress, directing legislative affairs for a leading Iranian-American non-profit organization, and working on Turkey and Syria issues at the Pentagon.

Blout is a fellow at the Internet Governance Lab, a joint project of the School of International Service and the School of Communication at American University. She served on the executive board of the International Studies Association's International Communication section.


In her spare time, Emily dabbles in clay and rock sculpture and tutors newly arrived political refugees through the International Rescue Committee.

Follow her on Twitter @emilyblout