Alexei Vassiliev is Honorary President of the Institute for African Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He is the author of over forty books, including the critically acclaimed The History of Saudi Arabia, winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, Central Asia: Political and Economic Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era, and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality. Faith and Times. The recipient of many awards, he is also Editor-in-chief of Asia and Africa Today, and has been the primary editor of about 50 monographs, including the two-volume Encyclopedia of Africa. His works have been translated into over 14 languages. He is a member of the International Security Section of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and of the Foreign Policy Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.