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Affiliated Scholars
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs appoints Affiliated Scholars twice annually for a period of one year. Affiliation applications are accepted for consideration for scholars who are doing research related to one of the institute’s research program areas (see programs here:

The application should be sent to
  1. A cover letter
  2. An updated CV and list of publications
  3. A letter of recommendation from your current/previous employer, department or advisor
Applications need to meet the following deadlines:
June 1 - For affiliations starting on September 1
Oct 1 - For affiliations starting on January 15

If accepted, the Affiliate is expected to participate in the general intellectual life of the institute and contribute in areas of expertise. The affiliate will receive a university ID card and have access to the library and other university resources. Private office space cannot be provided but shared work space is available at the institute.

During the year, the Affiliate agrees to contribute to one or more of the following:
  • Participate or present at a public lecture at the institute
  • Submit a paper for the Working Papers series
  • Contribute a policy brief for publication

Current Affiliated Scholars

Julie Bernath

Massa Mufti-Hamwi 

Dr. Julie Bernath is a visiting researcher in the Program “Refugee Research & Policy in the Arab World” of the Issam Fares Institute. She is conducting a post-doctoral research project entitled “The Political Geographies of Transitional Justice Perspectives in the Context of Ongoing Armed Conflict: The Case Study of Syria”. For this project, she is researching the transitional justice perspectives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Germany, from a political geography perspective. The project runs from June 2018 until November 2019 and is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. During this time, she is also hosted by the Center for Conflict Studies of the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany.

Julie is a senior researcher and program officer of the Dealing with the Past Program of the practice-oriented peace research institute swisspeace, an institute affiliated to the University of Basel in Switzerland. Julie’s research specializations include the politics of transitional justice, victims’ participation in transitional justice processes, dealing with the past in Cambodia and qualitative research methods. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and a MA in Political Science from the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris, France. She conducted her PhD on resistance to transitional justice at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Julie is also Chair of the Steering Committee of the Standing Group on Human Rights and Transitional Justice of the European Consortium for Political Research. Prior to joining swisspeace in 2012, Julie worked as a consultant in the Public Affairs section for the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia.


Massa Mufti-Hamwi

Massa Mufti-Hamwi 

Over the past 22 years, Massa Mufti has accumulated a substantive depth of diversified knowledge and experience in the field of Education and Learning across educational institutions in the United States of America, Lebanon and Syria.

Massa is currently highly engaged within the Syrian civil society and in supporting Syrian refugees in the field of Education. She is the co-founder and Chair of Sonbola Group For Education & Development (SONBOLA), an NGO that provides education support for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Massa is also a consultant at ESCWA on Education for Syria and has been involved in various consultancy projects relating to Education Policies and Reform as well as in research projects that address Emergency Education, Curriculum Development, Non-Formal Education, Teachers’ Training, Museum-based Learning, and Citizenship Education.

In addition to holding two Master Degrees, Massa has a certified training in Education in Emergencies-INEE (Beirut, 2013), a certified training on Executive Management and Leadership from Harvard Business School (2011), and certified training on Project Zero from Harvard Graduate School of Education (July, 2017) among many others.

She has spoken several times UN General Assembly meetings; has recently presented STEM For Refugees which was recognized at the UN Solutions Summit (Sept 2017); She has spoken also at the UK Donors Conference on Syria (Feb 3-4, 2016); She is a regular speaker at NAMES (North Africa and Middle East Network for Science Museums) among many others.

Jamal Saghir

Jamal Saghir 

Mr. Saghir is an expert in infrastructure, energy, water, international finance, economic development, and policy with over 25 years of experience at the World Bank. From 2010 to 2016, he was Director of Sustainable Development and Senior Regional Adviser at the World Bank. He held directorships in agriculture and rural development, energy and infrastructure, environment, climate change, water, transport, and sustainable development.

From 2000 to 2010, he was Director and Chair of the World Bank Group’s Boards for Energy, Transport, and Water.

From 1990 to 2000, Mr. Saghir served in senior management and leadership roles in a variety of private-sector development organizations, restructuring operations in Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He was appointed in 2009 by UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon as core member of the United Nations Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group, and he was also appointed as core member of the Global Energy Assessment from 2008-2011.

Bachir Boustani

Bachir Boustani 

Mr. Boustani has 40 years of experience in the Energy industry. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, he started his career at Schlumberger in 1975. He served in several Managerial, Marketing and Human Resources positions around the world. As Vice President of the Integrated Project Management in the Middle East and Asia, he was a key contributor to the success and evolution of the IPM concept in the energy service industry.

Mr. Boustani is also the Director Energy Consulting services and part owner of Applicom at Dubai Internet City. He is engaged in several consultancy agreements with International Oil & Oil Service Companies, New service company start-ups, New Technology development companies, Private Equity firms, Investment banking, Consultancy firms & Mergers and acquisitions ventures.

Vanessa Newby

Vanessa Newby 

Dr. Vanessa Newby has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Westminster and an MA and PhD in International Relations from Griffith University. Her research interests include international security, peacebuilding, migration, informal institutions, and the politics of the Middle East. She is an Arabic speaker and has spent over seven years conducting research in Lebanon and Syria. Vanessa has published in international peer-reviewed journals such as International Peacekeeping, Contemporary Politics and Third World Quarterly. She is the author of Peacekeeping in South Lebanon: Credibility and local cooperation which will be published by Syracuse University Press in May this year.


Nora Stel


Nora Stel works as Assistant Professor in Governance and Human Rights for the Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands. She is an Affiliated Scholar at AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and with Utrecht University’s Centre for Conflict Studies, the Netherlands.
Stel works on the political anthropology of governance, authority and legitimacy in conflict-affected contexts, with a particular focus on refugee communities and informal settlements in the Levant. She has done fieldwork in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Burundi and Ethiopia for which she has been awarded several research grants, including one from Yale University. From 1 October 2017 onwards, she will be working on a postdoctoral research project titled ‘Studying Informal Syrian Refugee Settlements in Lebanon: Hybrid Political Order and the Politics of Uncertainty’ that is sponsored by a Niels Stensen Fellowship.
Stel has published with Oxford University Press and in journals such as Antipode, the Journal of Refugee Studies, Development and Change and the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. In her work with marginalized communities, Stel strives for empathy as well as impact. She endeavours to critically investigate the structures of domination that entrench global as well as local forms of socio-economic and political marginalization. This results in a strong conviction to share knowledge within and beyond academia

Areas of Expertise:
  • • Stateness, governance and public authority
  • Fragile and conflict-affected settings
  • Non-state governance and rebel rule
  • Refugees and informal settlements
  • Informality and institutional ambiguity
  • Qualitative research methods

  • BA in History (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
  • MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), cum laude
  • PhD (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), dissertation titled Governing the Gatherings. The interaction of Lebanese state institutions and Palestinian authorities in the hybrid political order of South Lebanon’s informal Palestinian settlements

  • Stel, N.M. 2016. “The Agnotology of Eviction in South Lebanon’s Palestinian Gatherings. How Institutional Ambiguity and Deliberate Ignorance Shape Sensitive Spaces,” Antipode, 48(5): 1400-1419.
  • Yassin, N., N.M. Stel and R. Rassi. 2016. “Organized Chaos: Informal Institution Building Among Palestinian Refugees in the Maashouk Gathering in South Lebanon,” Journal of Refugee Studies, online publication 27 June.
  • Stel, N.M. 2016. “Languages of Stateness in South Lebanon’s Palestinian Gatherings: The PLO’s Popular Committees as Twilight Institutions,” Development and Change, 47(3): 446-471.
  • Stel, N.M. and W. Naudé. 2016. “‘Public-Private Entanglement’: Entrepreneurship in Lebanon’s Hybrid Political Order,” The Journal of Development Studies, 52(2):254-268.
  • Stel, N.M. and Van der Molen, I. 2015. “Environmental vulnerability as a legacy of violent conflict: a case study of the 2012 waste crisis in the Palestinian gathering of Shabriha, South Lebanon,” Conflict, Security and Development, 15(4): 387-414.
  • Stel, N.M. 2015. “‘The Children of the State?’ How Palestinians from the Seven Villages Negotiate Sect, Party and State in Lebanon,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 42(4):538-557.
  • Stel, N.M. 2015. “Lebanese-Palestinian governance interaction in the Palestinian gathering of Shabriha, south Lebanon – A tentative extension of the ‘mediated state’ from Africa to the Mediterranean,” Mediterranean Politics, 20(1):76-96.
  • Stel, N.M. 2014. “Governance and Government in the Arab Spring Hybridity: Reflections from Lebanon.” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, 6(1): 49-69.
  • Stel, N.M. 2013. “Entrepreneurs in the Dark: The Impact of Fragile and Hybrid Governance on Lebanese Entrepreneurship - A Case Study of the Electricity Sector.” Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 18:3.
  • Stel, N.M. and G. Frerks. 2013. “Review Essay: Lebanon – The Challenge of Moving Governance Analysis Beyond the State.” Middle East Policy, 20(1): 163-174.

Rasha Jarhum:


Rasha Jarhum is a Senior Development Policy Advisor and Expert on Women, Peace, and Security. Jarhum has been working in the humanitarian and development fields, and advocating for Human Rights including women and refugees rights for over 15 years. She is also a civil society activist and development campaigner. She is currently the MENA Regional Gender and Advocacy Manager for the Regional Gender Justice Programme at Oxfam. Jarhum has worked with various international organizations including UNDP, UNICEF, JICA, ESCWA and University of Beirut. She is a member of the Women's Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and member of the GSX Working Group on Preventing Violent Extremism by Educating for Rights, Peace, and Pluralism. She's also a member of ESCR- Net - International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Jarhum produced research on social protection, gender in fragility, and civic engagement. Jarhum is also an Aspen New Voices Fellow for 2016 with Aspen Institute, USA. She is Co-founder of House of Ideas a Yemeni local NGO and founder of With Aden Initiative.

  • Masters degree in International Business Management from the University of Nottingham.
  • Bachelor of Business Management specialized in Marketing, Bangalore University, Bangalore - India.

  • For lasting peace in Yemen, bring women to the table, blog entry at London School of Economics.
  • Yemeni Women Lead a Campaign Against Street Harassment, OpEd at Huffington Post - Netherlands vs KSA at the Human Rights Council, blog entry to compare the different proposals submitted by these countries and the final adapted resolution.
  • Advocacy Coalitions and Role of Civil Society about Early Marriage: the case of Yemen, Research for American University of Beirut, to be published in research journals in January 2016.
  • The Social Protection Profile for UAE, ESCWA, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • The Social Protection Profile for Oman, ESCWA, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Contributed to the “Integrated Social Policy Report V”, ESCWA, Beirut, Lebanon.


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