Back Geha, Carmen


Carmen Geha is recipient of the Maria Zambrano, Spanish government award for international scholarly talent. She is a lecturer in the Masters Program on Migration and a Senior Member in the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM-UPF), at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University. Carmen specializes in policies of inclusion and exclusion with expertise in refugee policies, gender, and social movements in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In Barcelona, she leads a multi-country project on the displacement of women and gender activists from the Arab MENA. She studies trans-national networks, solidarity movements, and how local policies influence the political trajectory of migrants and refugees. Carmen is also a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Arab Reform Initiative and serves as senior advisor on the women's political participation regional program for the Arab MENA. 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. CIBL was 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. 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 a political activist who has led national and regional initiatives for 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. She has written policy briefs for IEMED, Wilson Center, La Vanguardia, European Council on Foreign Relations, the Middle East Institute, and International Alert.