Back Geha, Carmen


Maria Zambrano Fellow. Senior Researcher at GRITIM-UPF

Carmen Geha is recipient of the Maria Zambrano, Spanish government award for international scholarly talent. She is a faculty member in the Master's Program on Migration and a Senior Member in the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM-UPF), at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona. As part of the EuroMedMig Research Network she also co-edits the EuroMedMig Working and Policy Paper Series. Carmen specializes in policies of inclusion and exclusion with expertise in refugee policies, gender inequalities, and social movements in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Prior to joining GRITIM-UPF she was an Associate Professor of Public Administration, Leadership, and Organizational Development at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and a co-founding member, as well as Director of Communications, at the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL) for Women at the Olayan School of Business in AUB, twice awarded by AACSB as Innovations that Inspire, engaging nearly 4,000 employers in the region to enact inclusive workplace policies for women in the areas of STEM, Healthcare, Banking, and Education. Carmen is also Founding Director of the “Education for Leadership in Crisis” scholarship program for Afghan Women at AUB, and Founding Director of “Support for Arab Women on the Table” regional program for a gender-inclusive peace and security agenda in the region.

During her time at UPF, Carmen will develop a research agenda to bring forward the lived experiences of political activists and high skilled migrants with the aim of understanding their rationale for migrating, and how the policies of host countries shape the trajectories of activism and employment.

Carmen is a scholar-activist whose academic research is embedded in the context of where she works and what she experiences with collectives. Her publications have appeared on the Social Movement Studies, Citizenship Studies, Middle East Journal, Journal of Refugee Studies, International Spectator, and the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. Her first book “Civil Society and Political Reform in Lebanon and Libya,” is a seminal documentation of the experiences of oppression of activism in a context of violent turmoil and constraint.

Carmen has received the Fullbright award as a visiting scholar at Harvard University, the Mellon Grant as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Brown International Research grant as a Visiting Scholar at the Watson Institute in Brown University. Over the course of her career at AUB she has received as a PI and CO-PI a total of $8 million in research funding from the Middle East Partnership Initiative at the US Department of State, European Union, and the Norwegian Research Council. Carmen is an activist at heart who works on women’s rights, refugee protection, and freedom of expression. Most recently, after the Beirut explosion she co-founded an interprofessional network of 200+ experts to address community health, education, and SME recovery in the devastated areas of the blast, recognized by AACSB as Innovations that Inspire. 

In addition to her academic track, she has 15+ years’ experience in consulting and advising for international organizations, UN agencies, governments, philanthropic organizations and civil society organizations on governance issues including democratic participation, women’s rights, constitutional development, access to information, freedom of assembly, and refugee policies. She is frequently interviewed in media outlets on topics related to her research and activism including in CNN, El Periodico, Al Jazeera, BBC, and writes public policy briefs and op-eds as often as she can.