Clayton is an experienced geopolitical risk analyst and author with over two decades of outstanding achievement as an award-winning investigator and journalist. His Doha-based professional services consultancy, SWISHER EMPIRICAL STUDIES LLC, provides tailored research projects, due diligence and litigation support services to leading international law firms and commercial enterprises. Clients can depend on his tenacity, first-class investigative intuition and commercial focus to meet their business-critical information needs with speed, accuracy and discretion.

From the start of his career, Clayton displayed a dogged knack for scrutinizing anomalies and ferreting out information that individuals, companies and governments would prefer to be kept hidden. The discipline and early professional experience gained in the US Marines and as a federal criminal investigator with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service enabled his later journalistic successes. Several of his exclusive Al Jazeera documentaries uncovered sensitive diplomatic scandals and covert influence campaigns that triggered criminal investigations and parliamentary inquiries, and caused political resignations.

An excellent command of international affairs and Mideast politics and an extensive network of sources at all levels give his investigations depth, texture and credibility.

A resourceful and confident communicator, Clayton brings a contrarian mindset when approaching complex topics. His fearless, evidence-based reporting empowers clients, letting them focus on what really matters – running an ethical, efficient and profitable company.

Core Expertise

  • Geopolitical Risk Analysis
  • Litigation Support
  • Due Diligence
  • Bespoke Research
  • Fraud Investigation
  • Identifying Digital Influence Campaigns
  • Witness Interview
  • Red Team Analysis
  • Relationship Mapping

Professional Highlights

Al Jazeera Media Network (2011 – 2018)

Consolidated Investigative Unit and expanded department’s presence into UK and US. Hired top-tier journalists and controlled $multimillion annual budget.

Al Jazeera English, News Department (2007 – 2011)

Prepared and delivered live television reports from global locations and worked as embedded war reporter in Afghanistan with US and NATO forces.

Middle East Institute (2005 – 2007)

Contributed expert analysis on Arab-Israeli conflict on major media channels; organized high-profile events and lectures and moderated national MEI speaker events.

C & O Resources (2004 – 2005)

Researched and prepared reports on US foreign policy and Arab and Muslim world relations; assembled high-value contact network and prime information sources.

Freelance Investigative Journalist (2002 – 2004)

Independently investigated the collapse of the Oslo peace process during the Clinton administration; authored The Truth about Camp David, a widely-cited publication that provided exclusive, alternative insights into why these negotiations failed.

State Department Diplomatic Security Service (1999 – 2002)

Federal Agent and criminal investigator. Graduate of Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Criminal Investigative Training Program and Basic Special Agent Course.

US Marines (1995 – 1999)

Corporal, US Marine Corps Reserves (Honorably Discharged).

Career History

  • Swisher Empirical Studies LLC
  • Al Jazeera Investigative Unit
  • Middle East Institute
  • C & O Resources
  • State Department Diplomatic Security Service
  • US Marines


  • PhD, Middle East Politics University of Exeter, 2018
  • MA Liberal Studies: Islam & Muslim Christian Relations Georgetown University, Washington, US, 2003
  • BA, Administration of Justice University of Pittsburgh, US, 1999


TV series, The Lobby (2017)

Undercover investigation of influence of Israel lobby, awarded CINE Golden Eagle.

TV documentary, What Killed Arafat? (2012)

Awarded CINE Golden Eagle for best investigative journalism; also gained nominations for BAFTA, Monte Carlo Television Festival and RTS Scoop of the Year.

Superior Honour Award (2002)

US State Department, for serving on a first responder team at Ground Zero NYC following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

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