A visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Xiaoning Huang is currently on sabbatical leave from his assignment with the United Nations’ Department of Political Affairs. He has been the Desk Officer for Iran at the Middle East and West Asia Division in the past five years. He has also covered several Gulf States, Pakistan, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States at varying times. Earlier, he had worked with the secretariat of the Security Council from 2006 to 2010 when the Iranian nuclear issue was activity discussed by the Council. Before joining the UN, Mr. Huang had worked with news organizations in Beijing and New York for seven years. He obtained a BA in China and an MA in the US.