Syrian Studies Association 2016 Officer Elections


In 2016, Syrian Studies Association members will elect new officers for the Member at Large, Prize Committee Chair, Bulletin Editor, Webmaster, and Secretary-Treasurer Positions. Candidates for each position are listed below. The Syrian Studies Association thanks each person who volunteered to serve as a candidate for these officer positions, and encourages all members to consider running for office in 2017.


Member at Large: participates in all business of the board and acts as the Elections Officer in the first year of his or her term. Duties of the Elections Officer include soliciting nominations for board positions and preparing a ballot to circulate to the membership in advance of the MESA annual meeting. In their second year, the Member at Large manages some of the secretarial duties for the organization (in concert with the secretary-treasurer). This office carries two-year term.


Candidates for Member at Large:

Reem BailonyReem Bailony received her Ph.D. in Middle East history from UCLA. Her research focuses on the engagement of Syrian-Lebanese migrant communities in the Syrian Revolt of 1925-1927. She is currently the ADF Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. As an SSA Board member, Reem hopes to bring discussions about migration to Syrian studies. 


Hadi Abdalhadi AlijlaAbdalhadi is the Executive Director for The Institute for the Middle East Studies Canada (IMESC). He has a PhD in Political Studies (comparative politics and public policy) from State University of Milan, Italy and holds an M.A. degree in Public Policy and Governance from Zeppelin University- Friedrichshafen, Germany. He is the Regional Manager for MENA at the Varieties of Democracy Institute in Sweden. He worked   the advisor and program manager on religion and public affairs at Adyan foundation in Beirut. Currently, he is conducting research on Syrias refugees livelihood in Turkey and Lebanon.


Marwa Daoudy: Marwa Daoudy is an Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Her research and teaching focus is on international and regional security, international relations, the environment, and Middle East and Syrian politics. Her current research is on the environmental and socio-economic roots of the Syrian Uprising. In these particularly difficult times for Syrians, she is interested in joining efforts to contribute to the SSA's activities and diffusion of scholarly work on Syria, its politics, history, and people. 


Prize Committee Chair: publicizes the SSA's annual book, article, and dissertation prizes and supervises the awarding of prizes. Each year, the chair solicits at least two volunteers from the SSA membership to serve on the prize committee to select the best new work on Syria. The Prize Committee Chair position carries a two-year term which can be renewed through reelection.


Candidates for Prize Committee Chair:

Malissa TaylorMalissa Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Her research connects intellectual history with political and social practice in Ottoman Syria. She has previously served as a member of the SSA prize committee and is now eager for the opportunity to serve as chair.


Geoffrey SchadGeoffrey Schad is a Lecturer in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Syrian Studies Association's Secretary-Treasurer. He has been involved in Middle East studies his entire adult life, having traveled to the region immediately after college as a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow studying Sufi music. After obtaining his A.M. in Regional Studies-Middle East at Harvard, he worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade before going to Penn for his Ph.D. in history. He has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Franklin and Marshall College, and Albright College. His major interest is in the social history of Syria during the French Mandate and the first decade or so of independence, his most recent paper being The figure of the native expert: Lon Mourad in the service of the High Commission for Syria and Lebanon, delivered to the conference Experts and Expertise in the League of Nations Mandates: Figures, Fields and Tools/Experts et expertises dans les mandats de la Socit des Nations: figures, champs et outils held at INALCO in Paris in March 2015. He has served the Syrian Studies Association as newsletter editor, member at large, and secretary-treasurer, and is a cofounder and past editor of H-Levant.


Bulletin Editor: edits and publishes the biannual Syrian Studies Bulletin. The editor also works with and appoints a Book Review Editor. When necessary the Bulletin Editor may seek assistance from the Board and membership with article ideas, editing, and proofreading. The Bulletin Editor serves a renewable three-year term.


Edith Szanto: Edith Szanto is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.  She received her PhD in Religious Studies from theUniversity of Toronto in 2012.  Her dissertation examined Twelver Shi'i practices and discourses in the Syrian shrine town of Sayyida Zaynab.  Edith has been a regular contributor to the Syrian Studies Association Bulletin.  She has published several articles on Syria and is currently finishing her manuscript tentatively entitled Transgressive Traditions: Twelver Shi'ism in Modern Syria.


Webmaster: serves a renewable three-year term. The Webmaster's duties are to maintain the SSA website and keep the website up to date.


Dara Conduit: Dara Conduit is a final year Ph.D candidate working on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood at Monash University and a researcher at the Middle East Studies Forum at Deakin University. She is interested in contemporary Syria, conflict, Islamism, and violence. Ms. Conduit would like to join the board because Syrian studies is a rapidly expanding field, and she believes that the SSA has an important role to play in supporting and connecting scholars, and promoting the development of the field.





This election closes on November 15, 2016. The results of the voting for each officer position will be announced at the Middle East Studies Association annual meeting. Please contact Stacy Fahrenthold, Member at Large and Elections Officer, with any questions.


Andrea L Stanton is Editor of the Syrian Studies Association Bulletin.