Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees (BoT) governs the Doha Institute (DI) at the highest level. Guided by the authority conferred to it by the Institutional Bylaws, the BoT establishes policies for its internal operations, and elects from among its membership standing committees (the Executive Committee, Nominations Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Financial Affairs and Planning Committee, Financial and Administrative Audit Committee, Compensation Committee) with specific mandates to assist in carrying out its duties. The governing institutional bylaws stipulate the membership details and working committees and mandate. 

The BoT is linked to the DI through the president and works to evaluate the DI's performance, overseeing the institutional (corporate) long-term planning and affairs of the DI, including financial, academic, and organizational planning.

At the strategic level, the BoT ensures the DI's commitment to its sponsors and main stakeholders. At the operational level, the BoT ensures that all policies, plans, and budgets proposed by the president and approved by the DI Council are implemented.

 Previous Members

Mohamed Al Rumaihi (Term 2015 –2017)

Mohamed Al Rumaihi is a Professor of Political Sociology at Kuwait University. He earned a PhD in political sociology from Durham University, England in 1973. He has numerous publications on political sociology, political change in the Arab Gulf region as well as studies dealing with cultural change in the Arab world. He has also published more than twenty books on political sociology in the Arab Gulf region, culture and Arab politics, and Arab issues in the Arab world. Dr. Al-Rumaihi has served as a Head of Department and Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education, at Kuwait University, and was the editor of the renowned Al-Araby journal for seventeen years (1981-1998). He served as the Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters in Kuwait. He has also been a consultant in several committees related to education, information, culture, politics and translation in the Kuwaiti public and private sectors.

Roger Allen (Term 2015 –2017)

In June 2011, Roger Allen retired from his position as the Sascha Jane Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics in the School of Arts& Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He served Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations for 43 years. From 2005-11 he served as Chair of the Department. In 2008 he was elected President-elect of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and served as the association’s president in the year 2009-2010. Dr. Allen obtained his doctoral degree in modern Arabic literature from Oxford University in 1968, the first student to obtain a doctoral degree in that field at Oxford, under the supervision of Dr. M.M. Badawi. The topic of the dissertation was a study (and English translation) of Muhammad al-Muwaylihi’s renowned narrative, Hadith `Isa ibn Hisham (`Isa Ibn Hisham’s Tale); it was later published in book form as A Period of Time (1st [microfiche] edition, 1974; 2nd edition 1992). Dr. Allen has retained a life-long interest in the writings of the Al-Muwaylihi family, and in 1998 he was asked by Professor Gaber Asfour, Director-General of the Supreme Council for Culture in Egypt, to prepare an edition of the complete works of Muhammad al-Muwaylihi (2002), and later of his father, Ibrahim al-Muwaylihi (2007), for publication in a series of “complete works.”

Taher Kanaan (Term 2015 –2017)

Taher Kanaan is Chairman of the Executive Board of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS). He holds a PhD in Economic Science from Cambridge University. Dr. Kanaan has served in a number of academic and government roles. Since 2013, he has been a member of the Jordanian Senate and in the past he has served as the Minister of Development (1998-1999), Planning (1986-1989), and Minister for Occupied Territories Affairs (1985). He has participated in designing development policies and programs for the Ministry of Planning in Iraq and was the State Secretariat of Planning in Morocco. Dr. Kanaan has also held a number of positions within the United Nations in New York, Beirut, and Geneva. In later years, he was elected by ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) for voluntary service as a member of the UN Committee for Development Planning (now Policy) from 1996 to 2000 and as a member of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration and Public Economics, from 2005 to 2008. He contributed to the UNDP Arab Human Development Reports of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008. Dr. Kanaan is also a volunteer in a number of civil society organizations, including membership of the Boards of Trustees and Management of the Arab Anti-Corruption Organization, and of the Institute of Palestine Studies. He has written widely in both Arabic and English.

 Current Members

Azmi Bishara

Azmi Bishara is the General Director of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS). He is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. A prominent Arab writer and scholar, Bishara has published numerous books and academic papers in political thought, social theory, and philosophy, in addition to several literary works, including: Civil Society: A Critical Study (1996); On the Arab Question: An Introduction to an Arab Democratic Statement (2007); Religion and Secularism in Historical Context (3 volumes 2011-2013); On Revolution and Susceptibility to Revolution (2012); The Army and Political Power in the Arab Context: Theoretical Problems (2017); Essay on Freedom (2016); Sect, Sectarianism, and Imagined Sects (2017); What is Salafism? (2018); The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Daesh): A General Framework and Critical Contribution to Understanding the Phenomenon (2018); What is Populism? (2019) and Democratic Transition and its Problems: Theoretical Lessons from Arab Experiences (2020). Some of these works have become key references within their respective field. As part of a wider project chronicling, documenting, and analyzing the Arab revolutions of 2011, Bishara has also published three key volumes: The Glorious Tunisian Revolution (2011); Syria's Via Dolorosa to Freedom: An Attempt at Contemporary History (2013) and The Great Egyptian Revolution (in two volumes) (2014). Each book deals with the revolution’s background, path, and different stages. In their narration and detail of the revolutions’ daily events, these volumes constitute a key reference in what is known as contemporary history along with an analytical component that interlinks the social, economic and political contexts of each revolution.

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Ph.D. serves as Advisor in the Amiri Diwan in Doha, Qatar. He is Chair of the Executive Board and Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents of Qatar University. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of Qatar Leadership Centre, and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Dr. Al-Thani was Vice President, Education at Qatar Foundation for 10 years (2005-2015), developing its institutional strategy for higher education. From 2010 to 2015 Dr. Al-Thani served as the inaugural President of Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, an emerging research university built upon unique collaborations with local and international partners. At Qatar Foundation, Dr. Al-Thani was founding Chairman of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), (2009-2015), a leading global forum for innovative thinking and practice in education. His leadership generated a number of initiatives that have won renown, including the WISE Prize for Education, WISE Awards and WISE Learners Voice. While at QF, he led the strategic planning for the project to build a central library, now the Qatar National Library. He also launched Stars of Science, a reality-TV show created to encourage innovation among Arab youth, and promote the study of science among the rising generation in the region; the series reached four million followers in the Arab region. The World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader for his regional role in education reform and innovation. In 2015 the Government of the Republic of France named him Commandeur, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for achievements in education and culture. He accepted the Magisterio Prize for Education Leaders on behalf of WISE from Her Royal Highness Letizia Ortiz of Spain in 2012. Among education initiatives, Dr. Al-Thani is a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University in Washington, the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, and the Board of Advisors of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston. He is a member of the Qatar National Library Board of Trustees; he served on the Executive Council of the World Digital Library at the Library of Congress, the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg, Germany, and as a member of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies – Tarsheed, in Doha. He received a PhD in Civil Engineering (University of Southampton), an MS (Colorado State University) and a BS (Qatar University); he taught engineering at Qatar University.

Ahmad Dallal: Trustee

Ahmad Dallal is the Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar. Between 2009 and 2015, Dr. Dallal served as Provost of the American University of Beirut (AUB), and was professor of history at the AUB. Prior to that, between 2003 and 2009, Dr. Dallal served as chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He received his PhD in Islamic Studies from the Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. Dr. Dallal had previously taught at Stanford University, Yale University, and Smith College. Throughout his career, Dr. Dallal served on the advisory and editorial boards of several professional organizations and journals, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. He has received numerous honors including fellowships and awards. In 2008, he was invited to deliver the Dwight H. Terry Lectureship in Religion, Science and Philosophy at Yale University. Dr. Dallal’s scholarship primarily focuses on the history of science, Islamic revivalist thought, and Islamic law. Dr. Dallal published two books and an edited volume, as well as 42 articles and chapters in peer reviewed publications, and 10 book reviews and review essays. His notable books are An Islamic Response to Greek Astronomy; Kitab Ta‘dil Hay’at al-Aflak of Sadr al-Shari‘a (E.J. Brill, 1995) and Islam, Science and the Challenge of History.

Aziz Al-Azmeh: Trustee

Aziz Al-Azmeh is a professor of history and Islamic studies. He received his D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He previously attended the University of Tübingen, and the University of Alexandria/Beirut Arab University. Dr. Al-Azmeh is currently an Emeritus Professor, and distinguished visiting professor, at the Department of History, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He has also taught at various universities, including: the American University of Beirut, Yale University, Columbia University, the University of Exeter, Cornell University, the University of Oxford, the University of California-Berkeley, Georgetown University, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations of the Aga Khan University in London. Dr. Al-Azmeh is a member of the Advisory Board of the Library of Arabic Literature (New York University), and a member of its council in Beirut, and of the Excellence Cluster on Religion and Politics at the University of Münster in Germany. Previously, Dr. Al-Azmeh served as the Chairman of the Academic Planning committee, and a member of the Strategic Planning committee, at the Interim Board of Trustees of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (2010-2013). He was also a member of the Advanced Grant Evaluation committee at the European Research Council, (2017-2019); the founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Foundation for Advanced Scientific Research in the Arab World, incorporated as a charity in the UK (2005-2010); founding-member of the Arbeitskreis Moderne und Islam, Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (1994-1998). He also served on various university committees. Additionally, Dr. Al-Azmeh served on the editorial boards of several academic journals, including the Medieval History Journal and the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. In May 1993, he received the Republican Order of Merit, for services to Arab culture, conferred by the Tunisian Republic. In 2005, an international conference was held at the Central European University, Budapest, to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of his book Islams and Modernities (1993). In 2017, he was awarded the Annual Prize for the Humanities and Social Sciences by The Turkish Academy of Sciences, which he declined . His other works include Arabic Thought and Islamic Societies (1986); Ibn Khaldun: An Essay in Reinterpretation (1990); Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Muslim, Christian and Pagan Polities (1997); The Times of History: Universal Topics in Islamic Historiography (2007); The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and His People (2014).

Dina Rizk Khoury: Trustee

Professor Dina Rizk Khoury is a graduate of the American University of Beirut where she earned a Bachelors and Georgetown University where she graduated with a doctorate in Middle East history in 1987. She has been teaching at George Washington University since 1991 and has served as director of the Middle East Studies program and director of graduate studies in the Department of History. She has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Professor Khoury's first book, State and Society in the Ottoman Empire, Mosul 1519-1834 (Cambridge University Press, 1997) won the Turkish Association Studies bi-annual book prize and was co-winner of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize. She is also author of Iraq in Wartime Soldiering, Martyrdom, Remembrance (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and numerous other articles on Iraqi and Ottoman history. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.

Ebrahim Moosa: Trustee

Ebrahim Moosa (Ph.D., University of Cape Town 1995) is Professor of Islamic Studies in Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Department of History, and Keough School of Global Affairs. Dr. Moosa co-directs, with Scott Appleby and Atalia Omer, Contending Modernities, the global research and education initiative examining the interaction among Catholic, Muslim, and other religious and secular forces in the world. Dr. Moosa’s interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics and theology. His book What Is a Madrasa? was published in 2015 by the University of North Carolina Press. Dr. Moosa also is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions (2006) and editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. Other publications also include the co-edited book The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring (Georgetown University Press, 2015); Islam in the Modern World (Routledge, 2014), and Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges, (Amsterdam University Press, Spring, 2010). Dr. Moosa came to Notre Dame in the fall of 2014 from Duke University, where he taught in the Department of Religious Studies for 13 years. He previously taught in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town (1989-1998) and in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University (1998-2001). In 2005, Dr. Moosa was named a Carnegie Scholar to pursue research on Islamic seminaries of South Asia. Born in South Africa, Dr. Moosa earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cape Town. He also holds a degree in Islamic and Arabic studies from Darul Ulum Nadwatul `Ulama in Lucknow, India, a B.A. degree from Kanpur University, and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the City University in London.

Ghanim Al-Najjar: Trustee

Ghanim Al-Najjar is a professor of political science at Kuwait University and a member of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)'s Board of Directors. Previously, he was a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, served as director of the Center for Strategic and Future Studies, and was the editor of the Gulf Studies Series Journal, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Al-Najjar has been a visiting scholar at several universities, including Harvard's Human Rights Program, Law School, and the Kennedy School of Government. Until recently, he was the UN independent expert for Human Rights in Somalia, a mandate he held for 8 years. Dr. Al-Najjar headed and participated in a number of international fact-finding missions in several countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Somalia. Dr. Al-Najjar is the founder of the Centre for Strategic and Future Studies in Kuwait University. He is a member of the executive committee of the Arab Sociological Association, and a member of the board of the Arab Human Rights Fund based in Beirut, as well as an international commissioner with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva. Moreover, he is a member of the editorial boards of several academic journals. The publication "The Challenges Facing Kuwaiti Democracy", which appeared in the Middle East Journal, is one of many of his published works.

Khalil Hindi: Trustee

Khalil Hindi: Trustee Khalil Hindi is currently Professor of Management Science at the Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut (AUB). He is a member of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)'s Board of Directors. Between 2010 and 2015, Professor Hindi was President of Birzeit University, Palestine. In 2008-2010, Professor Hindi served as an Associate Dean and Professor of Management Science at the AUB. Between 2002 and 2008, he was Professor of Engineering Management at the Faculty of Engineering, and Professor of Management Science at the Olayan School of Business, AUB. From 1998 to 2002, he worked as Professor at the Department of Systems Engineering at Brunel University, England. Prior to October 1998, Professor Hindi taught at the University of Manchester (10 years) and South Bank University, London (8 years). During his residency in Britain, Professor Hindi was a fellow of several UK institutes and associations, including the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, British Computer Society, and Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Professor Hindi holds a BSc, MSc and DSc in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a DSc in Management Science. Professor Hindi has published many research papers on engineering and management science in renowned international journals.

Laurie Brand: Trustee

Laurie Brand is director of and professor in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. From 1997-2000 she directed USC’s Center for International Studies. Dr. Brand holds a B.S. in French from Georgetown University and an M.I.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Prior to joining the USC faculty in fall 1989, she was a research fellow and assistant director at the Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, D.C. A 2008-2010 Carnegie Scholar and a four-time Fulbright scholar to the Middle East and North Africa, she is author of Palestinians in the Arab World Institution Building and the Search for State (Columbia University Press, 1988), Jordan’s Inter-Arab Relations, The Political Economy of Alliance Making (Columbia University Press, 1994), and Women, the State and Political Liberalization (Columbia University Press, 1998) and Citizens Abroad, Emigration and the State in the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2006). She has published articles in, among others, World Development, International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Middle East Journal, International Journal, Jerusalem Journal of International Relations, and the Journal of Palestine Studies, in addition to contributing chapters to numerous edited volumes. Dr. Brand has conducted field research in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. She is fluent in Arabic and French and has advanced speaking and reading competency in Spanish, and a basic working knowledge of Hebrew and German. She has served on the boards of the American Institute of Maghrebi Studies (AIMS), the Palestine American Research Center (PARC), and the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) from 1994-96, 2003-5. She served as MESA president in 2004, and she currently chairs its Committee on Academic Freedom. Her current research explores the role of Arab nationalism and Islam in post-independence narratives in the Arab world.

Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad: Trustee

Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, has occupied numerous prestigious positions in teaching, administration, and research, and assumed the presidency of Qatar University in 2003. Prior to that, she served as Qatar University’s Vice President for Research and Community Development (2000 -2003), Head of the Department of Foundations of Education (1992-1995), and as a member of the University Council (1986-1989; 1998-2004). In recognition of her ongoing and distinguished contributions to the educational sector nation-wide, an Emiri decree was issued in 2010 granting Professor Al-Misnad a Ministerial rank. Professor Al-Misnad is a member of several international bodies and delegations. She was a contributing member of the Steering Committee of the Symposium at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education Applicability to the Arab States of the Gulf, held in Doha in 1999. Since June 2004, she has been a selected Member of the United Nations University Council (UNU), and in 2009, she was appointed to the American University in Cairo Board of Trustees. In January 2008, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Durham University in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of education. Professor Al-Misnad received her undergraduate training at Qatar University where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1977. She then received a Diploma in Education in 1978. She enrolled in doctoral studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom, where she was granted a PhD in Philosophy in Education in 1984.

Wail Benjelloun: Trustee

Wail Benjelloun earned a Ph.D. degree from SUNY Binghamton in Psychology (Neuroscience) in 1976. He has taught since then at the Faculties of Science and of Lettres of Mohammed V University in Rabat at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels, where he also participated in regular evaluation and academic reform projects. During his professional career, Dr. Benjelloun assumed a series of responsibilities, including Biology Department Head (1990-1994), Vice President for Academic Affairs at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (1994-1999), Dean of the Faculty of Science at Mohammed V University (2005-2010) and President of the same university (2010-2014). He has also been active in several Executive Boards for new universities in Morocco, as well as in several national and international commissions on higher education. He is also a member of the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright Morocco). Dr. Benjelloun is an active researcher, with interests centered on malnutrition and brain chemistry and behavior. He founded the first fundamental research laboratory in neuroscience in Morocco and has supervised the training of many specialists in the field. He publishes regularly in specialized international indexed journals. He was instrumental in founding the Moroccan Association for Neuroscience in 1984 and served as its president for several mandates. He also chaired the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa, and was an active member of the Executive Council of IBRO, the International Brain Research Association. He is currently President of ISP, the International Society of Pathophysiology. Dr. Benjelloun was decorated in 2002 as an Officer of the Order of the Throne (Morocco).

Israa Batayneh: Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Assistant to the Chair of the Board

Israa Batayneh is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI). Prior to joining the Institute, Batayneh worked as an Assistant Researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) within the Center's Arab Opinion Index Unit. She also worked within the Research and Public Opinion Unit at the University of Jordan’s Center for Strategic Studies (CSS). Batayneh holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Jordan, and a Master’s degree in Politics from the University of Sheffield in UK, where she received the Jordan Merit Postgraduate Scholarship of 2012.