Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Tarek Masoud Named New Faculty Chair of Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative

| June 18, 2018

Cambridge, MA – Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs today announced that Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations Tarek Masoud will serve as faculty chair of the Center’s Middle East Initiative (MEI). Professor Masoud succeeds Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. Burns is the faculty chair of the newly launched Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship and the Future of Diplomacy Project. Launched in 1998, MEI integrates research and policy analysis, education, and community engagement to advance public policy and build capacity in the Middle East.

“I am delighted that Tarek will lead the Belfer Center’s work on the Middle East,” said Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf. “Tarek is a highly respected and thoughtful voice on political developments in the region. We are fortunate that he will guide our efforts in an area in which high-quality research and engagement are so vitally needed.”

“Tarek brings extraordinary energy and insight to his teaching and research,” said Belfer Center Director Ash Carter. “At a time of consequential change across the Middle East, his leadership will help MEI deepen its engagement with, and practical research for, students, scholars, and stakeholders.”

“I’m honored to be tapped to lead the Middle East Initiative,” said Masoud, who previously served as MEI’s acting faculty chair in 2016. “Nick Burns leaves big shoes to fill, but I look forward to working hard with MEI’s superb team to build on his tremendous efforts. I’m committed to finding new ways to bring the Kennedy School to the region, and the region to the Kennedy School.”

MEI hosts the Emirates Leadership Initiative and the Kuwait Program at Harvard Kennedy School, and it recently launched the new Rawabi Fellowship for Leaders from Palestine. The Initiative also supports research projects and events to gain greater insight into issues affecting Israel, the Gulf States, and the Middle East region as a whole.

Masoud’s research focuses on political development in Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority countries. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform with Jason Brownlee and Andrew Reynolds (Oxford University Press, 2015), and several articles and book chapters. He is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar, a trustee of the American University in Cairo, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy, and the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Paul and Daisy Soros foundation, among others. He holds an AB from Brown and a PhD from Yale, both in political science.

Contact: Josh Burek, Director of Global Communications and Strategy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs;; 617-495-7831

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Tarek Masoud Named New Faculty Chair of Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, June 18, 2018.