The Harvard Middle East Initiative is dedicated to advancing public policy in the Middle East by convening the world’s foremost academics and policy experts, developing the next generation of leaders, and promoting community engagement on campus and in the region. Tarek Masoud is the Faculty Director. 

Established in 1998, the Harvard Middle East Initiative has expanded its programs to address diverse topics including energy and resource management, transitional democracy, foreign and security policy, human rights and humanitarian responses, economic diversification, demographic challenges, and beyond. Through the integration of research and policy analysis, education, and community engagement, this initiative aims to advance public policy and build capacity in the Middle East.

Tarek Masoud is the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Governance at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy of the National Endowment for Democracy and serves as the Faculty Director of the Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative and the Initiative on Democracy in Hard Places. His 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), as well as several articles and book chapters. He is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar, a trustee of the American University in Cairo, 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 Ph.D. from Yale, both in political science.

Harvard Middle East Initiative

Harvard Middle East Initiative

Contact Alison Hillegeist, Associate Director

Office Location

1 Brattle Square, Suite 470
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mailing Address

Middle East Initiative
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street
Mailbox 131
Cambridge, MA 02138