Lebanese American University


2015 program

Dr. Maha Yahya

Dr. Maha Yahya


Maha Yahya is a senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace working on Citizenship, Pluralism and Social Justice. In particular, her work focuses on the intersection between socio-economic challenges and political transitions.  Prior to joining Carnegie, she was the Chief of the Participatory Development and Social Justice Section at UNESCWA and spearheading strategic initiatives from the office of the Executive Secretary. In this capacity, she engaged with developmental issues in 17 Arab countries. Prior to joining UN-ESCWA, she was the director and principle author of the National Human Development Report at UNDP. She also worked as an independent consultant with public and private sector entities on a rich variety of development issues such as post conflict reconstruction, social policies and the revitalization of cultural heritage in diverse contexts including Iran, Pakistan, KSA, Oman and others. Yahya has two PhDs in the social sciences and humanities from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Architectural Association (AA) in London. She serves on the advisory board of several organizations including the UN-Habitat flagship publication, the Ana Aqra Association for underprivileged children and is a board member of several organizations including the MIT-Enterprise Forum for the Arab region. She is also the founder and editor of the MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies (MIT-EJMES). Yahya has worked and written extensively on the Arab region. Among her publications, she is the principle author and director of Toward a Citizen’s State in Lebanon; Education and Citizenship; One Hundred and One Stories to tell; the co-author of the Promises of Spring: Citizenship, Civic Engagement and Democratic Transitions and the co-editor of Visualizing Secularism and Religion, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India (University of Michigan). 

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