Faculty Steering Committee

Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, and Director of the Middle East Institute [Committee Chair]

Brinkley Messick specializes in the anthropology of law, legal history, written culture, and the circulation and interpretation of Islamic law.  He is the author of The Calligraphic State (1993), which was awarded the Albert Hourani Prize of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, and co-editor of Islamic Legal Interpretation (1996). His scholarly articles include "Indexing the Self: Expression and Intent in Islamic Legal Acts," Islamic Law & Society (2001); “Written Identities: Legal Subjects in an Islamic State,” History of Religions (1998);  “Genealogies of Reading and the Scholarly Cultures of Islam,” in S. Humphreys, ed. Cultures of Scholarship (1997); and “Textual Properties: Writing and Wealth in a Yemeni Shari a Case,” Anthropology Quarterly (1995).

He is at work on a book on the doctrine and court practice of Shari`a law in the pre-revolutionary twentieth-century Islamic state of highland Yemen. He is also interested in a critical review of anthropology’s early disinclination, as a matter of disciplinary identity, to deal with written sources.

He teaches courses on Islamic law; Islam and theory; and Muslim society. In 2009 he received the Outstanding Senior Scholar Award from the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association.


Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Department of Anthropology

Lila Abu-Lughod’s work has focused on three broad issues: the relationship between cultural forms and power; the politics of knowledge and representation; and the dynamics of gender and the question of women’s rights in the Middle East. She is a Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science Department of Anthropology as well as the Director of the Middle East institute at Columbia University. The Middle East Institute was founded in 1954, and has helped to set the national pace in developing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present, with a primary focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lila’s first book, Veiled Sentiments, was about the politics of sentiment and cultural expression in a Bedouin community in Egypt that made an argument about the complexity of culture. Her second book, Writing Women’s Worlds, framed as a feminist ethnography, used individual stories to make a larger argument about “writing against culture” as a means of intervening in vexed discourses about a maligned region as well as challenging transnational feminist representations of women in Arab societies. Her third ethnography, Dramas of NationhoodThe Politics of Television in Egypt, a contribution to the anthropology of nations and to media ethnography, explored the tensions between the social inequalities that bedevil nations and the cultural forms that aspire to address them.

Associate Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and Architecture Advisor to the President

Amale Andraos is Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (effective Sept. 1, 2014) and is an associate professor at the School. She leads the second semester Core II Architecture program and her recent design studios and seminar have focused on the Arab City and were the subject of a symposium at GSAPP’s Studio-X Amman in 2013 entitled “Architecture and Representation.” She is currently working on a subsequent symposium under the same title at Columbia for the fall of 2014, in collaboration with Studio-X Amman’s director Nora Akawi and Columbia Global Centers | Middle East.

Andraos has taught at numerous universities including the Princeton University School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania Design School and the American University in Beirut. Her recent publications include 49Cities - a re-reading of 49 visionary plans through an ecological lens and Above the Pavement, the Farm! Forthcoming publications include the third edition of 49Cities, which will include an interview with AntFarm, as well as Shades of Green. Architecture and Representation: the Arab City will be published as a result of the third symposium on the subject, to be held at Studio-X Istanbul in 2015.

Andraos is a co-founder of WORKac, a 35-person architectural firm based in New York that focuses on architectural projects, which re-invent the relationship between urban and natural environments. Since the founding of WORKac in 2003, principals Amale Andraos and Dan Wood have achieved international acclaim for projects such as the recently completed master plan for the New Holland Island Cultural Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wieden+Kennedy’s 50,000 sqft, three story New York offices, the Blaffer Museum in Houston, Texas, the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan and the Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Currently, in Africa, the firm is building its winning competition entry for a new 20,000 square meter Conference Center in Libreville, Gabon. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the project is expected to be completed in 2016 and will host diplomatic meetings, including the next African Union summit for heads-of-state.

Amale Andraos received her Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and her B.Arch from McGill University in Montreal. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon and lived in Saudi Arabia, France, Canada and the Netherlands where she worked for OMA/Rem Koolhaas until she moved to New York in 2002. She serves on the board of the Architectural League of New York, the Advisory Board of the Arab Center for Architecture in Beirut, currently being assembled, and is a member of the faculty steering committee for the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East.

Professor and Dean, School of the Arts

Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts. She was previously Dean of Faculty and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as Professor of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in English literature from State University of New York at Buffalo and her PhD in English and American literature from the University of California, San Diego. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, art and social responsibility, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism including: The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change (translated into seven languages); The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Social ResponsibilityZones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and AnxietySurpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art and Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production. She lectures extensively in the U.S. and abroad and is the recipient of numerous awards. She also is a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Art in Society for the World Economic Forum.

Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs

Jason Bordoff joined Columbia's faculty after serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change on the Staff of the National Security Council. Prior to that, Bordoff held senior policy positions on the White House's National Economic Council and Council on Environmental Quality. Bordoff is a professor of professional practice at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, and serves as Director of SIPA's Center on Global Energy Policy. Bordoff's research and policy interests lie at the intersection of economics, energy, environment, and national security. 

Co-Director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Teachers College

Thomas B. Corcoran is Associate Vice President of International Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University, Co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) and leads research and development projects for TC in Jordan and Thailand as well as in the US. His research interests focus on the connections between research and practice. Mr. Corcoran began his career as an educator with TC's Teachers for East Africa program, and subsequently has served as Director of Peace Corps Training at Syracuse University, Director of Evaluation and Chief of Staff of the New Jersey Department of Education, Director of School Improvement for Research for Better Schools, and Policy Advisor for Education for New Jersey Governor Jim Florio. He has served on two National Research Council Study Committees and as advisor to a number of foundations. He has over 40 years of experience designing school improvement and professional development programs.

Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work

Professor El-Bassel has an extensive research background in designing and testing HIV prevention strategies in clinical trials for women, men and couples recruited from drug-treatment programs, primary care, criminal justice and international settings. In the past eight years, El-Bassel has been studying the co-occurring problems of HIV, violence/trauma, and drug abuse among women and men. As Director of the Social Intervention Group, and of the newly-established Columbia University Global Health Research Center in Central Asia, El-Bassel is currently involved in a number of projects designed to improve the health and well-being of high-risk individuals in both the U.S. and emerging countries in the Central Asian Region. One project (funded by NIDA) intends to inform assessment, treatment and referral protocols to reduce partner violence and HIV-risk behaviors among men and women in methadone maintenance treatment programs in the U.S.


University Professor; Director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr's activities focus on various aspects of the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics domestically and globally. She led the development of several international programs focused on development of HIV care and treatment programs in several resource-limited countries. Her focus has been the development of programs that address the needs of adults and children by using a family-focused model of care provided by well-trained multidisciplinary teams of providers. Dr. El-Sadr has also championed the establishment of care programs that integrate the management of tuberculosis in HIV care programs. Dr. El-Sadr's has focused on both domestic as well as international issues related to HIV and tuberculosis. The programs she established at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City have informed her international efforts. Dr. El-Sadr has extensive research experience. She has received funding from National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations and foundations. Her research work has focused on identification of strategies for management of HIV disease and for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. She is a founding member of the NIH-funded Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA), a research network committed to providing access to research to underrepresented populations. She leads a unit of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention trials network where her work has focused on microbicide research. She is also an established researcher for the CDC-funded Tuberculosis Treatment Consortiuma and the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium. Dr. El-Sadr has authored many articles in professional journals and serves on numerous professional committees.

John A. Howard Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Professor Jedidi has taught New Product Development, Marketing Research, Managing Marketing Programs, and Applied Multivariate Statistics. He has extensively published in leading marketing, statistics, and psychometric journals, the most recent of which have appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Psychometrika. His substantive research interests include pricing, new product development, and market segmentation. His methodological interests lie in structural equation modeling and Bayesian and finite-mixture models. His research on the long-term impact of advertising and promotions won the 2000 Marketing Science Institute Best Paper Award and also won the 1998 Best Paper Award of the International Journal of Research in Marketing. He was also finalist for 2009 Paul Green Award for the Journal of Marketing Research and for the 2009 Long-term Impact Paper Award for Marketing/Management Science. Professor Jedidi has conducted seminars at several business conferences and universities. He has also spoken at and consulted with several multinational companies.

William B. Ransford Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and Professor of International and Public Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies

Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist who studies the political economy of the Middle East, the political role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge, the politics of large-scale technical systems, and the place of colonialism in the making of modernity.

Educated at Queens College, Cambridge, where he received a first-class honours degree in History, Mitchell completed his Ph.D. in Politics and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1984. He joined Columbia University in 2008 after teaching for twenty-five years at New York University, where he served as Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies. He is now professor and chair of the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.

Mitchell is the author of Colonising Egypt, a study of the emergence of the modern state in the colonial period and an exploration of the forms of reason, power and knowledge that define the experience of modernity. The book has been influential in fields as diverse as anthropology, history, law, philosophy, cultural studies, and art history. Translations have appeared or are in preparation in seven languages, including Arabic, German, Polish, Spanish and Japanese.

Mitchell's subsequent work covered a variety of topics in political theory and the contemporary political economy of the Middle East. His essay on the modern state, originally published in the American Political Science Review, has been republished on several occasions. Further writings on the nature of European modernity include an edited volume, Questions of Modernity, bringing together the work of leading scholars of South Asia and the Middle East. In political economy he has published a number of essays on agrarian transformation, economic reform, and the politics of development, mostly drawing on his continuing research in Egypt. The research includes long-term fieldwork in a village in southern Egypt, which he has studied and written about for more than a decade.

His 2002 book, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity, draws on his work in Egypt to examine the creation of economic knowledge and the making of “the economy” and “the market” as objects of twentieth-century politics; the wider role of expert knowledge in the formation of the contemporary state; the relationship between law, private property, and violence in this process; and the problems with explaining contemporary politics in terms of globalization or the development of capitalism.

Mitchell's research on the making of the economy led to a four-year project that he directed at the International Center for Advanced Study at NYU on The Authority Of Knowledge in a Global Age. Articles on The Middle East in the Past and Future of Social Science, The Properties of Markets, Rethinking Economy, and The Work of Economics: How a Discipline Makes Its World, explored these concerns, and developed Mitchell's interest in the broader field of science and technology studies (STS). His recent research brings together the fields of STS and postcolonial theory in a project on "Carbon Democracy," which examines the history of fossil fuels and the possibilities for democratic politics that were expanded or closed down in the construction of modern energy networks. His book Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil was published by Verso Press in 2011.

Mitchell has served on the editorial committees of the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the American Political Science Review, Middle East Report (where he has also been chair of the editorial committee), Social Text, Society and Space, the Journal of Historical Sociology, the Journal of Cultural Economy, and Development and Change. He has been invited to lecture at most leading research universities in the United States, and at universities and academic conferences in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. Several of his writings has been translated and published in Arabic, including three further books of essays, as well as in Persian, Hebrew, and Turkish. Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist who studies the political economy of the Middle East, the political role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge, the politics of large-scale technical systems, and the place of colonialism in the making of modernity.

Lecturer in Construction Engineering and Management, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Ibrahim Odeh is currently the research director and founder of the Global Leaders in Construction Management (GLCM) research initiative at Columbia University. The main objective of his team (GLCM) is focused on: (1) studying major challenges faced by the management team in international construction projects; (2) analyzing and studying the international construction market industry; (3) developing a SWOT and PEST analysis of these markets; and (4) building a comprehensive database of major best practices and lessons learned in managing signature global construction projects. Odeh did some studies as well as has on-going studies at several countries with a high focus on the GCC region. Odeh is also teaches courses in the area of construction engineering and management at the department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Construction Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds an MBA degree with an emphasis on Finance from Minnesota, USA. He serves as a member of several boards and committees such as CG/LA infrastructure; Columbia Global Centers; and C3 Summit. His specialties focuses on: Global Construction; Program Management; Project Management; Construction Management; Project Control; Project Finance; and Business and Program Development.

Faculty Advisor for Manhattanville, Office of the President

Kathryn B. Yatrakis is the Dean of Academic Affairs in Columbia College and the Senior Associate Vice President in the Arts and Sciences. As Dean of Academic Affairs, she is primarily responsible for overseeing the curriculum of the College, especially the Core Curriculum. Before assuming administrative positions, she was a member of the faculty of the Barnard Department of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies program. She continues to teach the Urban Studies Junior Colloquium on Contemporary Urban Issues every spring semester, and her academic areas of specialty include American politics, political participation, and the politics of cities.




Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism

Dean Steve Coll is a staff writer at The New Yorker, the author of seven books of nonfiction, and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Between 1985 and 2005, he was a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post. There he covered Wall Street, served as the paper’s South Asia correspondent, and was the Post’s first international investigative correspondent, based in London. Over the years, he won the Gerald R. Loeb Award for his business coverage; the Livingston Award for his work from India and Pakistan; and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone. He served as managing editor of the Post between 1998 and 2004. The following year, he joined The New Yorker, where he has written on international politics, American politics and national security, intelligence controversies and the media.

Coll served as president of the New America Foundation, a public-policy institute in Washington, D.C., between 2007 and 2012. He graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1980 with a degree in English and history.

Assistant Professor; Department of Religion, Barnard College

Najam I. Haider joined Barnard's faculty in 2010. Previously, he taught at Franklin & Marshall College, Georgetown University, New York University, and Princeton University. At Barnard he teaches courses focusing on the modern and pre-modern Muslim world. His current research interests focus on identity formation in the pre-modern Muslim world, Shi'ism, and the role of Islamic Law in the modern Muslim world.

Professor Haider has been the recipient of a Center for the Study of Religion dissertation grant and a Keasbey Fellowship to University of Oxford.