Dr. David Crist currently serves as senior historian for the federal government. As an intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, he saw first-hand the war against Al Qaeda and the confrontation with Iran. Crist served in the first Gulf War and two tours with elite special operations forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was part of the first U.S. military forces inside Afghanistan who overthrew the Taliban. In 2003, he personally witnessed the confrontation between American patrol boats and Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces off the Iraqi coast in one of the tensest incidents between the two nations in 20 years. A Middle East scholar and recognized expert on Iran and defense issues, he is a frequent adviser to senior government and military officials on the Middle East, including several CENTCOM commanders. He received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a master’s and doctorate in Middle Eastern history from Florida State University. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.