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Penelope MitchellPARC Executive Director: Penelope Mitchell
Penelope Mitchell has worked as a consultant in international development for 17 years. Her activities have centered on conceptualizing and writing large grant proposals for training programs in developing countries. The most recent projects include bringing Diaspora Sudanese back home to train colleagues in education and medical fields, ongoing work in Palestine to develop higher education initiatives, activities in Armenia to revitalize the countryside through programs centered on youth, and a worldwide initiative in democracy training. She spent several months over the last two years in Iraq working on a massive program to reconceptualize and revitalize the country's education system. Prior to her work as an independent consultant, she spent 10 years at the Academy for Educational Development managing human resource development activities in Botswana, Swaziland, India, Honduras and the Caribbean. She worked in financial management for Education Development Center, was logistics coordinator in Kenya for Earthwatch, and served as a department office manager at New York University. She also owned and operated a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts for five years. She has an M.A. from New York University in TESOL, a B.A. in history from Stanford University, has studied in Italy, France and Mexico, and is working on a Ph.D. in anthropology at American University. She has published and presented papers on the topic of reentry of students into the workplace after long-term study abroad among numerous other topics related to the management of training programs. She is editor of a handbook for foreign universities, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, on how to develop and manage programs for visiting U.S. students and create partnerships with U.S. universities. Married for 21 years to a Palestinian, she and her family have been frequent visitors to the West Bank.

Penelope MitchellPARC Palestine Research Director:
Ghada alMadbouh
Dr. Ghada alMadbouh is PARC Palestine Director of Research. She is also a PARC alumni fellow and a previous acting director of PARC in 2007. AlMadbouh is a 2011 graduate of the University of Maryland/College Park with a PhD in Political Science, specializing in democratization, social movements, and political Islam. Her thesis was on the process of inclusion of Islamists in governance and the deployment of political violence with a case study of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (1994-2007). AlMadbouh was a post-doctoral fellow at the program of "Europe in the Middle East-The Middle East in Europe" affiliated with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Free University in Berlin. The focus of her post-doctorate work was on the political thinking of Islamists beyond liberal categories. Since the beginning of 2012, she has been working as an assistant professor in the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department and the Political Science Department at Birzeit University. She is involved with the "Right to Education" Campaign at Birzeit and on several committees at the University. She is currently working on a paper about the Palestinian system and reconciliation or lack thereof. She has a keen interest in gender studies and was involved with the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ramallah in 2005.


Board of Directors


NajwaPARC President: Dr. Najwa al-Qattan is associate professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from AUB, a M.A. in Philosophy from Georgetown, and a Ph.D. in History and Middle East Studies from Harvard University, and is the recipient of awards and grants from SSRC, MESA, TSA, and the NEH. She has published articles on the Ottoman Muslim court, the Jews and Christians of the empire, and the Ottoman Great War in journals and books, including the International Journal of Middle East Studies and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She has also served on award committees for the Middle East Studies Association and the Turkish Studies Association.

PARC Vice-President: Dr. Rochelle Davis is an assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Srochelletudies at Georgetown University. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in 2002 in cultural anthropology and modern Arabic literature. Her B.A. is from the University of California, Davis in art history. She has studied and conducted research in the Arab world for over ten years: three years in Palestine/Israel, four years in Jordan, and three years in Egypt. Her research focuses on refugees and conflict. Her book, Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced (Stanford, 2010), addresses how Palestinian refugees today write histories of their villages that were destroyed in the 1948 war, and the stories and commemorations of village life that are circulated and enacted in the Diaspora. This work is based on over 120 village memorial books composed by refugees and displaced persons in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel, and Davis' ethnographic research in these communities. Her book chapter "Mapping the Past, Recreating the Homeland" on the subject appears in Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, edited by Lila Abu Lughod and Ahmad Sa’di (Columbia, 2007). In addition, she is working on scholarly articles based on oral histories she collected from Palestinians who lived in Jerusalem before 1948, and she has also published an article on British Mandate education and the Arab College in Jerusalem.

PARC Treasurer: Dr. Kimberly Katz is associate professor of Middle East History at Towson University in Maryland. She earned her Ph.D., a joint degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies, from New York University in 2001. Katz is the author of two books: Jordanian Jerusalem: Holy Places and National Spaces (University Press of Florida, 2005) and A Young Palestinian’s Diary: The Life of Sami ‘Amr (University of Texas Press, 2009), which will be translated into Arabic this year. She has also published articles in The Muslim World, Comparative Studies in South Africa, Asia and the Middle East, The Journal of Social Affairs and in the Arabic-language journal Hawliyyat al-Quds. Katz has reviewed manuscripts for The Levant; Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History; Radical History Review; Arab Studies Journal; Prentice-Hall (textbooks); University Press of Florida; Routledge; and Journal Archives de sciences sociales des religions and grant applications for ACOR-NEH and PARC.
Dr. Julie PeteetPARC Secretary: Dr. Julie Peteet is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Louisville. Her research has focused on Palestinian displacement, refugee camps, space and identity, and more recently the policy of closure in the West Bank. She has authored two books: Gender in Crisis: Women and the Palestinian Resistance Movement (Columbia University Press, 1991) and Landscape of Hope and Despair: Palestinian Refugee Camps (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). She has published in a variety of journals including Signs, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Survival, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Middle East Report as well as contributed numerous chapters in edited volumes. Her research has been funded by SSRC, Wenner-Gren, Fulbright, the Mellon Foundation, CAORC, and PARC. She serves on the Editorial Board of MERIP and was an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.
Dr. Nathan BrownMember: Dr. Nathan J. Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he directs the Institute for Middle East Studies. He has written on Palestinian politics, institution building, and legal and constitutional development. Brown's most recent book, Resuming Arab Palestine (University of California Press, 2003) presents research on Palestinian society and governance after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Brown also serves as Nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was previously a scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute. In 2002 and 2003, he was a member of the international advisory committee on drafting the Palestinian constitution. Brown has also served as consultant to the UNDP's program on governance in the Arab world and to a number of NGOs active in the Arab world. Besides his book on Palestinian politics, Brown has written Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and Prospects for Accountable Government (SUNY Press, 2001), The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Arab States of the Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Peasant Politics in Modern Egypt (Yale University Press, 1990). He received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Dr. Beshara DoumaniMember: Dr. Beshara Doumani is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. A graduate of Kenyon College, he received his M.A. in Arab Studies and his Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University. He writes on the social and cultural history of provincial life of the Arab East in Ottoman times; on everyday life of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation; and on academic freedom. His books include Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900; Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender (Ed.); and Academic Freedom After September 11 (Ed.). He has edited special issues of the Journal of Palestine Studies and the Jerusalem Quarterly. For details and downloads, visit

Member: Dr. Dina Rizk Khoury is an associate professor of history and international relations at George Washington University. She is the author of State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire, Mosul 1540-1834 (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and has published numerous articles in journals and edited volumes. Khoury is currently writing a book on war, citizenship and memory in Ba'thist Iraq to be published by Cambridge University Press. She has also served as a manuscript reviewer for Cambridge University Press, SUNY Press, St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, and Westview Press, reviewed articles for Ethnohistory, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Comparative Studies in Society and History, and was book review editor for the International Journal of Middle East Studies 1998-2001. She has also reviewed grant applications for the NEH, SSRC and ACLS, and is a Guggenheim fellow.

Member: Dr. Ann Mosely Lesch, is Associate Provost for International Affairs at the American University in Cairo (AUC), former dean of humanities and social sciences professor at AUC, former professor in the Department of Political Science and the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at Villanova University, and past president of the Middle East Studies Association in North America (MESA). She has published five books on Palestine: Politics in Palestine, 1917-1939 (1979), Political Perceptions of the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (1980), Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians, with Mark Tessler (1989), Transition to Palestinian Self-Government (1992), and Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, with Dan Tschirgi (1998; 2nd edition, 2006). She worked in Jerusalem for the American Friends Service Committee (1974-77), supervised a grants program on the West Bank for the Ford Foundation (1977-84), and conducted research in Gaza for Universities Field Staff International, while living in Cairo (1984-87). She served as editor of MESA’s book review Bulletin (1997-99) and administered a federally funded exchange program between the business faculties of Villanova and Bethlehem universities (1994-99). She is also a member of the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch/Middle East and a member of the Middle East peace education advisory committee for the American Friends Service Committee.

Member: Dr. Zachary Lockman is professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) and History at New York University, where he has taught modern Middle Eastern history since 1995. He was chair of MEIS from 2004 to 2010 and has also served as director of NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. He served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2006-2007 and is a member of MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom; he is also a contributing editor of Middle East Report. His main research and teaching field is the social, cultural and political history of the modern Middle East, especially Palestine and Egypt. His most recent book is Contending Visions of the Middle East: the History and Politics of Orientalism (2004; 2nd edition, 2009). Other books include Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948 (1996); Intifada: the Palestinian Uprising against Israeli Occupation (co-edited with Joel Beinin, 1989) and Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (co-authored with Joel Beinin, 1987). He received his B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton in 1974 and his Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard in 1983.

Member: Dr. Loren D. Lybarger, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions at Ohio University, Athens, is a religious studies scholar with sub-field specializations in the sociology of religion, Islamic Studies, and Middle Eastern Christianity. His research focuses on the effects of modern Islamic revitalization among Palestinians and Somalis in the Middle East, East Africa, and the United States. His first book, Identity and Religion in Palestine: The Struggle between Islamism and Secularism in the Occupied Territories (Princeton, 2007), examines the generational tensions and identity transitions that manifested following the appearance of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) during the first intifada. His current book project, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio University Research Council, probes the role of Islam and its effects on identity orientations within the Palestinian and Somali immigrant communities in the United States. Lybarger teaches courses ranging from a basic introduction to Islam to more specialized seminars on political Islam and Sufism. He also lectures on social theories of religion, religion and violence, and American religions.

Dr. Jennifer OlmstedMember: Dr. Jennifer C. Olmsted has long been interested in the Middle East and in the economics of conflict, having grown up in Beirut, Lebanon. Her Ph.D. thesis, completed at the University of California, Davis in 1994, examined the gendering of Palestinian education, employment and migration patterns in the Bethlehem area, in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war. She has held a number of positions in both academia and the policy world and is currently Associate Professor of Economics at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She continues to focus her research on Palestine, but has also written about the Iraqi, Egyptian and U.S. economies. Her publications have appeared in a number of book volumes and journals, including World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Feminist Economics, Research in Middle East Economics, Middle East Report, and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. In addition to serving on the PARC board, Olmsted is also currently on the International Journal of Middle East Studies and the International Association for Feminist Economics boards.
Dr. Susan SlyomovicsMember: Dr. Susan Slyomovics is professor of Anthropology, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, and director of the G. E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are gender, visual anthropology and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Her publications include Clifford Geertz in Morocco, editor (Routledge, 2010); Waging War and Making Peace: Reparations and Human Rights, co-editor (Left Coast Press, 2008); The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); and The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998).

Dr. Rebecca SteinMember: Dr. Rebecca L. Stein is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Women's Studies at Duke University. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 1999. Her research studies Israeli cultural politics in the context of the Israeli occupation, the history of Israeli state formation, and the legacy of Palestinian dispossession. She is the author of Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (Duke University Press, 2008) which considers the relationship between tourism, mobility politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 with Joel Beinin (Stanford University Press, 2006), and coeditor of Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2005) with Ted Swedenburg. She is currently working on Digital Occupations – a book project that studies linkages between new media and militarism in Israel, with a focus on how social media is changing the contours of military occupation. Portions of this work have recently been published in Middle East Report, the London Review of Books blog, and Critical Inquiry (online forum on the 'Arab Spring'). Stein's work on Israeli cultural politics has appeared in such journals as The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Social Text, Public Culture, Theory and Event, Journal of Palestine Studies, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

Dr. Judith TuckerMember: Dr. Judith Tucker is a professor of history and director of the Master of Arts in Arab Studies Program at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. Her research interests focus on the Arab world in the Ottoman period, women and gender in Middle East history, and Islamic law, women, and gender.  She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies and former Editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies. Tucker is the author of many publications on the history of women and gender in the Arab world, including Women in 19th Century Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1985), In the House of the Law: Gender and Islamic Law in Ottoman Syria and Palestine (California University Press, 1998), and Women, Family, and Gender in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2008). She is also the co-author of Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Restoring Women to History (Indiana University Press, 1999).  In addition, Tucker is the editor of Arab Women: Old Boundaries, New Frontiers (Indiana University Press, 1993) and co-editor of A Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East (Westview Press, 1999).

Palestine Advisory Board

Mkhaimar Abusada, Professor of Political Science, al-Azhar University in Gaza; journalist and media commentator, Project Syndicate and Common Grounds News Service.

Dr. Akram Daoud, Dean of the Faculty of Law, an-Najah National University; former lecturer and researcher, Arab American University of Jenin.

Dr. Honaida Ghanim, General Director of the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) in Ramallah, PhD in 2004 from the Hebrew University with distinction (Suma Cum Laude), lectures at various Palestinian universities. She has published various articles and studies in the fields of political and cultural sociology and gender studies. Her book, Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals in Israel (in Hebrew), was published by the Hebrew University Magnes Press in 2009. She was the editor of On Recognition of the "Jewish State" (in English), published by MADAR in 2014, and a co-editor of On the Meaning of a Jewish State (Arabic), published by MADAR in 2011. She was also the chief editor of the Qadaya Israelieh Journal (2000-2011). Since 2009 she has been the chief editor of MADAR’s Strategic Report.

Anita Vitullo Khoury, Deputy Director of Resource Development Department, Welfare Association; Jerusalem correspondent for U.S. and European radio and print media; former Palestine Program Advisor, World Food Program; former consultant, Palestinian National Poverty Commission; former Assistant Editor for the Journal of Palestine Studies.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Mbaid, Country Director for International Youth Foundations; former country director, CARE International; former senior regional advisor, International Relief and Development; former Chief of Party, Civil Society and Democracy Strengthening (Tamkeen) project.

Mouin Rabbani was born in the Netherlands and studied history and international Relations in the United States and Great Britain. After working in the human rights and development fields in Palestine, he served as Palestine Director for PARC from 2000 to 2002, after which he joined the Advisory Board of the Palestine office. Currently, Rabbani is Senior Middle East Analyst with the International Crisis Group in Amman, Jordan, specializing on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has published widely on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict; his writings have appeared in Journal of Palestine Studies , Middle East International , Middle East Report , Third World Quarterly , The Nation , and other publications.

Mira Rizek, National General Secretary, YWCA-Palestine; former Palestine Director, Palestinian American Research Center.

Sabri Saidam, Director, Institute of Development Studies (UNDP); former Minister of Communication and IT; former leader, Birzeit Innovation Group, Birzeit University.



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