Skip to content

Alumni Newsletter

Letter from the Director William Youmans 

Dear MESP Alumni and Friends:

Both the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) and the Middle East Studies Program have had a big year. For starters, we welcomed the Middle East Studies Association to GW. To have a leading academic and professional area studies organization with an international footprint housed in IMES is a major boost. We hope that this will help build out our scholarly network further and brighten the spotlight on our already prominent Middle East Studies program.


IMES's slate of talks this term featured terrific lectures by scholars doing cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences. We've also continued our workshops for graduate students and faculty to present their research to a growing cohort of Middle East Studies specialists on campus. This is one key way that IMES facilitates the sort of research that puts GW on the map of major Middle East research centers. 


We welcomed eleven new MA students in Fall 2019. These highly qualified applicants will follow in the footsteps of current students; our second-year cohort is now engaged in capstone projects on topics ranging from refugee decisions on repatriation to the formation of national identity in border regions. Our 2019 graduates continue to launch careers in diverse settings from the Department of State to leading international development and education organizations like IREX. After a long hiatus, MESP students are starting to return to Egypt, this time as part of a formal short-term class led by Program Director Nathan Brown. A very special thank you goes to Martin Baum, CCAS BA ‘82 and parent of current Elliott senior Alexander Baum, for his generous donation that provided financial support to MESP MA students to help make this trip possible. 


As our academic family grows, we hope to build on previous alumni engagement and mentoring programs. This includes another networking event for current students and alumni slated for February 5, 2020. Check your inbox for details – we hope to see you there! Check out the rest of the newsletter for profiles on new faculty, spotlights on fellow alumni, reviews of recent faculty publications, highlights of our current visiting scholars, and much more. 

Upcoming IMES Events

Don’t miss these upcoming IMES Events   Wednesday February 5, 6pm: Middle East Studies Alumni-Student Networking Reception at the Elliott School. Join fellow Middle East Studies students and alumni for a networking reception at the Elliott School. Hors d'oeuvres,...

The Middle East Studies Association joins GW!

The Middle East Studies Association joins GW!

The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), the leading professional organization for scholars and students of the Middle East, has established its headquarters at the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) in GW’s Elliott School of International...

Alumni Spotlight: Reza Akbari

Alumni Profile: Reza H. Akbari, MA ‘12  Reza H. Akbari received his MA in Middle East Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs in 2012. While at the Elliott School, Reza interned at the U.S. Treasury Department and The Century Foundation. He is...

Alumni Spotlight: Tsolin Nalbantian

Alumni Spotlight: Tsolin Nalbantian

Alumni Profile: Tsolin Nalbantian, BA ‘99  Tsolin Nalbantian graduated from the BA program in Middle Eastern Studies in 1999. Initially thinking she would pursue a career in journalism after graduation, she returned to Cairo where she had studied abroad in her junior...

Faculty Practitioner Spotlight: Charles E. Kiamie III

Faculty Practitioner Spotlight: Charles E. Kiamie III

Faculty Practitioner Spotlight: Charles E. Kiamie III, BA ‘00    Charles E. Kiamie III, MESP BA ‘00, is Deputy Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Local Sustainability – and Professorial Lecturer in both the Elliott School of...

Faculty Spolight: Babak Bahador

Faculty Spolight: Babak Bahador

Faculty Spotlight: Babak Bahador Babak Bahador is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Director of the Media and Peacebuilding Project. Professor Bahador is also a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury in New...

IMES Visiting Researcher Spotlight

GW Visiting Researcher Spotlights: Ali Hamdan and Scott Williamson   Ali Hamdan is in his first year as a Post-Doctoral Researcher with GW’s Mount Vernon Society of Fellows, as well as an instructor in the Department of Geography. He received his PhD in Geography at...

GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.