Jon Marks is managing director of Cross-border Information Ltd (CbI), a UK-based political risk and business consultancy, and publisher of the respected fortnightlies African Energy and Gulf States Newsletter. CbI is also co-publisher of the montly Algeria Focus and Iraq Focus; content provider to a range of blue chip media and financial clients; and a source of specialist political, energy and financial risk research to a range of commercial clients.
He specialises in the politics and economics of the Middle East, and the Euro-Mediterranean and African regions. His interests also include the Magreb, Saudi and other GCC political elites and energy issues.
He first arrived in the MENA region as a teacher, and for more than two decades he has been a journalist and analyst focussing on the politics and economics of the Middle East, Euro-Mediterranean and African regions. He was with Middle East Economic Digest from 1986-96, before leaving to concentrate on his extensive writing and research commitments, and to develop CbI. He still writes extensively mainly in CbI’s publications, but also in academic and commercial journals.
On the policy front, in the early 1990s, Jon worked with the European Commission in Brussels, where he wrote a study on how the European Community worked, published in English and Arabic. Mr Marks also worked for the EC’s then Mediterranean/Middle East director, Eberhard Rhein, carrying out missions to Jordan, Lebanon and other Arab states.
From September 1994 to early 1996, he was specialist adviser to the House of Lords Sub-Committee on the European Communities, which carried out a ground-breaking enquiry into Europe’s political and economic relations with North Africa.
He holds a BA in Politics from the University of Kent and an MSc in African Government and Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE); he carried out doctoral research on Algeria at London University’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS).
He was a Nuffield lecturer at SOAS teaching the MA course in modern North African history, and he still lectures regularly in Britain, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.