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