Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to radically transform its economy into something modern, dynamic, and much less dependent upon oil revenues. Wilson Center Middle East Fellow David Ottaway has written a new paper that provides historical context about past efforts to kick the oil habit and prospects for the current plan. His insights provide the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


David B. Ottaway received a BA from Harvard, magna cum laude, in 1962 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1972. He worked 35 years for The Washington Post as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe and later as a national security and investigative reporter in Washington before retiring in 2006. He has won numerous awards for his reporting at home and abroad and was twice nominated a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ottaway was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1979-80 and again in 2005-06 and is currently a Middle East Fellow. His most recent book is, “The Arab World Upended: Revolution and Its Aftermath in Tunisia and Egypt.” His previous book was, “The King’s Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America’s Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

His paper, “Saudi Anxiety Grows Over Vision 2030 for the Kingdom,” can be read here:

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.