Advisory Board


Osama Abi-MershedOsama Walid Abi-Mershed

Director, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Osama Abi-Mershed is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses on North Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Mediterranean (medieval and modern); on Arab and Ottoman societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and on colonial and post-colonial Franco-Maghribi relations. His academic research focuses on the ideologies and practices of colonial modernization in nineteenth-century Algeria, and on the parallel processes of state- and nation-making in France and North Africa.



Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad

Professor, and former President, Qatar University

Qatar University’s 5th President Al-Misnad is one of Qatar’s leading educators, and a partner in many initiatives towards the fulfillment of national development strategies.  As a member of the Board of Directors of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development since 1999, she has had a key role in the governance and leadership of the educational institutions comprising Education City. Al-Misnad has written more than 50 articles published in professional journals and presented at leading conferences and seminars at the local, regional and international levels.


Ahmed Dallal

Ahmad Dallal

Professor and former Provost, American University of Beirut

Dallal is Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar. Previously, he was professor of history At AUB's Department of History and Archaeology. He joined AUB in the summer of 2009 from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he served as the chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. His previous academic appointments were at Stanford University (2000-03), Yale University (1994-2000), and Smith College (1990-94). Dallal’s scholarship focuses on the history of science, Islamic revivalist thought, and Islamic law. His most recent publication is Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History. He received his BE (1980) from AUB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and his PhD (1990) in Islamic Studies from the Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.

Suad Joseph

Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of California, Davis

Joseph is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and the Arab Families Research Group. She founded and directs a five-university consortium including the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, the Lebanese American University, Birzeit University, and UC Davis. She was president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2010-2011. She has edited or co-edited 8 books, and published over 100 articles in journals and books.  She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, and Faculty Assistant to the Chancellor.  

Stanley N. Katz

Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University

Katz is President Emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies, the national humanities organization in the United States. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1955 with a major in English History and Literature. He was trained in British and American history at Harvard (PhD, 1961), where he also attended Law School in 1969-70. His recent research focuses upon the relationship of civil society and constitutionalism to democracy, and upon the relationship of the United States to the international human rights regime. He is the Editor in Chief of the recently published Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, and the Editor of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the United States Supreme Court.


Rami Khouri

Former Director, The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut

Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut and Nazareth. He is a former Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, as well as a columnist at the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper. He is an internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Dubai School of Government. He was the co-recipient of the Pax Christi International Peace Award for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to the Middle East.


Sir Timothy Lankester

Chairman of the Council, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London

Sir Lankester held senior positions in the British Treasury, was Britain’s representative on the boards of the IMF, World Bank and the European Investment Bank, and served as Permanent Secretary in Britain’s international aid and education ministries. He served as Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to Prime Ministers Callaghan and Thatcher. He was Director of SOAS at the University of London and President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 2012, his book The Politics and Economics of Britain’s Foreign Aid: the Pergau Dam Affair was published by Routledge. He also Chairs the Board of Governors of Contemporary Dance Trust.


Ellen Lust

Associate Professor of Political Science, and Founding Director of the Program on Governance and Local Development, Yale University

Ellen Lust is the Founding Director of the Programs on Governance and Local Development at Yale University (est. 2013) and at the University of Gothenburg (est. 2015), and Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. She received her M.A. in Modern Middle East and North African Studies (1993) and PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan (1997). She held faculty positions at Rice University and Yale University, and was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Graduate Studies (Geneva, Switzerland) and the Straus Institute in the Law School at NYU. She has authored numerous books and articles, including most recently, Trust, Voice and Incentives: Learning from Local Successes in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) in collaboration with Hana Brixi and Michael Woolcock. Her current research is aimed at developing local governance indicators and examining the role of social institutions in governance. She was a co-founder of the Transitional Governance Project, a founding associate editor of Middle East Law and Governance, and has served as an advisor and consultant to such organizations as the Carter Center, Freedom House, NDI, UNDEF, UNDP, USAID, and the World Bank. Foundations such as the Moulay Hicham Foundation, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, FORMAS and the Swedish Research Council have supported her work.

Irfan Nooruddin

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Indian Politics, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Nooruddin is a member of the Georgetown University's Asian Studies Program. He directs the Georgetown India Initiative and advises the student-run Georgetown-India Dialogue. Nooruddin is the author of Coalition Politics and Economic Development: Credibility and the Strength of Weak Governments (Cambridge, 2011). He specializes in the study of comparative economic development and policymaking, democratization and democratic institutions, and international institutions. Nooruddin has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and is a Team Member with Lokniti: Programme on Comparative Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. 


Alistair Routledge

Alistair Routledge

President and General Manager, ExxonMobil Qatar

Alistair Routledge was appointed President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc. in January 2015. He is responsible for leading the interface of all ExxonMobil-affiliated activities in Qatar in partnership with Qatar Petroleum as well as joint ventures between Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil abroad. Alistair holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 1990 and an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, Glasgow in 1995.  Alistair began his career with Mobil in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1990.  Since that time, he has undertaken a range of technical, supervisory and managerial assignments for Mobil and ExxonMobil (following the merger in 1999).  He has served in various capacities in engineering, operations, planning and commercial functions while working in the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela and Italy.