I am a professor for Gender, Communications, and Global Mobility Studies in the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. After getting my MA in German Literature and PhD in International Relations at the University of Salzburg, I moved to Beirut and have been teaching here since 1999. I’m involved in issues related to sustainable transportation and energy development, gender equality, and the application of faith-based politics in the MENA region.
I am primarily driven by my dedication to the liberal-democratic ideals of freedom, social justice, and peace, based in my Christian faith as a Mennonite. Originally from Lancaster Pennsylvania, I have attempted to apply these principals both in a Central European and Middle Eastern context. As the chairperson of the Democrats Abroad in Lebanon I am also involved in elections in the US, but stay away from direct involvement Lebanese politics.
I was invited by FNF in 2015 to take part in the IAF because I was intrigued to learn more about their approach to promoting the values of freedom and human rights in the Global South. As an educator and activist, I went to Gummersbach to improve my pedagogical skills and learn from their experience. The combination of classroom instruction, field studies, and dialogue with practitioners in Germany and Brussels was impressive and I brought back a lot of new ideas about how to apply liberal-democrat teaching methods and content at NDU. Unexpectedly, I also met my future wife in Gummersbach and have learned that this wasn’t the first time that this happened.
Upon returning to Lebanon, my wife and I have worked closely with FNF on a variety of topics related to political communications, gender equality, human rights, and most importantly the sustainable development of infrastructure and social services in the Middle East.