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Visiting Scholars

Ali Hamdan is in his first year as a Post-Doctoral Researcher with GW’s Mount Vernon Society of Fellows, as well as Instructor of Geography. He received his PhD in Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and his Bachelors degree from Middlebury College. Much of his effort goes toward increasing the contributions of geographers to the study of the Middle East, as well as exposing scholars of the region to research and theory from Geography relevant to the study of borders, war, and geopolitics.

Photo of Dania Thafer

Dania Thafer is a political scientist with a focus on political economy and international relations. Her current research explores the effect of state-business relations on economic development for the existing youth-bulges in rentier economies with an emphasis on the Arab Gulf states. She has been widely published on matters concerning the Arab Gulf region including several articles, a monograph, and a co-edited book entitled The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf States: Trends and Implications. Dania is the founding Executive Director of Gulf International Forum, an institute focused on the Gulf region. Previously, she worked at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. Ms. Thafer has a Master’s degree in Political Economy from New York University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science from American University in Washington, DC. Her dissertation is titled "Obstacles for Innovation in Rentier Economies: States, Elites, and the Emerging Youth."

Photo of Sina Azodi

Sina Azodi is a PhD candidate in international affairs at the University of South Florida, and a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. His research interests include state relations, nuclear non-proliferation, U.S.-Iranian relations, and Iranian foreign policy. Sina has worked as a research assistant at the National Security Archive and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is a contributing writer to the Atlantic Council's Future of Iran Initiative and has been published by the Columbia University Journal of International Affairs. Mr. Azodi received his B.A. in International Relations (Middle East) and his Master's degree in International Relations (International Security) from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.

Graham Pitts was the 2019-2020 American Druze Foundation Fellow at CCAS and a postdoctoral teaching scholar from 2016 to 2018 at North Carolina State University’s International Studies program. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. from Georgetown University’s History Department and his B.A. from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. His dissertation was titled “Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon.” Dr. Pitts has taught “Arab Environmental History,” “History of Sectarianism in the Middle East,” “Introduction to International Studies,” and historical survey courses on the Middle East.

IMES has a very small number of slots for visiting scholars with their own external funding. These are available on a rolling basis. If you wish to apply for one of these positions please send a cover letter and research statement to IMES Associate Director Shana Marshall at:

Previous IMES Post-Doctoral Fellows

Amal Sachedina, 2016-2017 (University of Michigan, Oxford University, Brown University)
Janell Rothenberg, 2015-2016 (University of California Los Angeles, Carleton College)
Aaron Jakes, 2014-2015 (New York University, The New SchoolOpens in a new window)
Kevin Jones, 2013-2014 (University of Michigan, University of GeorgiaOpens in a new window)
Sarah Parkinson, 2012-2013 (University of Chicago, University of MinnesotaOpens in a new window)
Guldem Buyuksarac, 2011-2012 (Columbia University, Istanbul UniversityOpens in a new window)

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