Chatham House is pleased to announce that Dr Lina Khatib has joined the institute as head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Dr Lina Khatib takes up her role at Chatham House as of 3 May 2016. She joins Chatham House from her position as a senior research associate with the Arab Reform Initiative. Previously, she was director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut and, prior to that, the co-founding head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Dr Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, said: ‘I take great pleasure in welcoming Dr Lina Khatib to Chatham House. Dr Khatib joins our team at a critical time of prolonged turmoil and upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa. Her significant international experience of analysing developments in the region will be a great asset to Chatham House as it assesses the core political, economic, societal and security issues affecting peace and prosperity across this region. I would also like to thank Dr Neil Quilliam for his strong leadership of the Middle East and North Africa Programme since 2014.’

Dr Lina Khatib, said: ‘At a time when countries in the Middle East and North Africa face critical challenges, from continuing conflicts in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, to increasing socio-economic pressures, it is essential for policy decisions to be informed by rigorous and forward-thinking research and debate. I look forward to working with the team at Chatham House to assist decision-makers and the public in understanding the complexities of an important region at this turbulent moment and seeking creative ways of alleviating its challenges.’ 

Dr Neil Quilliam, who has been acting head of the programme since December 2015, will continue with his role as senior research fellow and Syria project director. 

Editor's notes: 

Dr Khatib holds a BA from the American University of Beirut and an MA and PhD from the University of Leicester. Her research spans the international relations of the Middle East, Islamist groups, political transitions and foreign policy, with a focus on the regional and international political and security dimensions of the Syrian conflict.

Dr Khatib has published seven books, including Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle (I. B. Tauris, 2013), Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism (co-edited with Ellen Lust, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), and The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (co-authored with Dina Matar and Atef Alshaer, Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2014). She has also published widely on public diplomacy, political communication, and political participation in the Middle East.

Since 2008, Dr Khatib has been a founding co-editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication and a research associate at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. From 2010 to 2012, she was a non-resident research fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. She lectured at Royal Holloway, University of London from 2003 to 2010.

Prior to joining the academic field, Dr Khatib worked in broadcast journalism in Lebanon.