Khatib to lead Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut


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Michael Abramowitz (left), director of the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Lina Khatib during a CDDRL special event on Oct. 1, 2013.
Photo credit: 
Sadaf Minapara

Lina Khatib, co-founding head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), has announced that she will step down from the position in December to lead the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

Khatib managed CDDRL's Program on Arab Reform and Democracy for nearly four years, growing the new program into a leading research initiative examining contemporary issues of democratic protest and reform in the Arab world.

“Lina has done an extraordinary job of building the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy from its inception,” said Larry Diamond, director of CDDRL and the faculty principal investigator to the program. “Her high standards of academic scholarship, deep knowledge of the region and wide range of contacts among Arab scholars and civic activists have made our Arab Reform and Democracy program a leader in understanding the profound political changes and complex challenges confronting Arab states and societies today. We are sorry to lose her, but we look forward to working with her in her new and important role at the Carnegie Endowment.”

During her tenure at CDDRL, Khatib greatly expanded the research agenda of the program through partnerships with leading academics and policy think tanks in the U.S. and the Arab world, and through the program’s annual conference. 

In March 2012, the Program’s conference in Tunis on Democratic Transition and Development in the Arab World broke ground by bringing together the two leaders of the country’s principal Islamist and secular political parties. The book resulting from the 2011 conference, “Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism,” co-edited by Khatib and Ellen Lust of Yale University, will be published soon by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Other new research projects include: the Brookings Doha Center-Stanford Project on Arab Transitions; Entrepreneurship after the Arab Spring, in partnership with the Center for International and Private Enterprise; and Political Reform Prospects in Yemen, with contributions from leading Yemeni scholars and practitioners.

These collaborations have yielded numerous working papers, policy briefs and reports for an academic and policy-making audience. Bi-lingual publications have also helped the program to expand its reach in the Arab world. (These and other materials are available at:

"It is immensely rewarding to see the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy grow into a viable, credible intellectual hub with a large footprint both at Stanford and especially in the Arab region," said Khatib. "At CDDRL, I have been privileged to work with some of the best scholars in the world, and within a unique academic environment that is a true incubator of talent. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Program in my new role at Carnegie and am confident that the Program will continue to be a leader in policy-relevant research on democratic transitions in Arab countries."

As a research scholar at CDDRL, Khatib produced her own original interdisciplinary research on the intersections of politics, media and social factors in the Middle East. Her latest book, "Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle" (IB Tauris, 2013) examines the power struggles among states, non-state political actors and citizens in the region that are expressed through visuals.

Among her countless contributions to the program, Khatib also worked hard to build a community of scholars across Stanford University committed to the study of the Arab world through the launch of the Arab Studies Table and her support of other forums on campus.