I am a political scientist who works on politics, states, and society in the Middle East, with a focus on Syria. I am the 2020-21 ADF Research Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

My career experience includes universities, thinktanks, and research centers in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. I have previously held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and Brandeis University. I have taught classes on comparative politics, the politics of Syria, and social science approaches to studying the Arab World at Georgetown University, School of Oriental & African Studies, London School of Economics, and the University of Exeter.

As Research Director (Syria) at the Council for British Research in the Levant (2011-13), I piloted a new Arabic language training program for British academics, established a scholarship scheme for displaced Syrian researchers, and worked with local institutions to build capacity for social science research in Jordan. I am especially interested in now undertaking similar projects with Syrian research organizations inside and outside the country.

I am currently working on a second book project, The Nation Belongs to All: the Making of Modern Syria, to be published in the U.K. by Allen Lane.

I have worked as a consultant providing politics & security analysis for Jane’s Information Group, BBC Monitoring, and Menas Associates, and have provided numerous expert reports for refugee resettlement cases. I have had extensive broadcast experience on television and radio with the BBC World Service, BBC News 24, CNN International, and Sky News. I regularly give talks to universities, diplomats, policymakers, and the general public.

I have a PhD in Politics and a MA in Middle East Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a BA in Arabic and French from St John’s College, Oxford University.