John L. Esposito

Project Director

University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, John L. Esposito is Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Esposito has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of State and other agencies, European and Asian governments and corporations, universities, and the media worldwide. He is a former President of the American Academy of Religion, the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, and member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and Board of Directors of the C-1 World Dialogue.

Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies and the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching. Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Series Editor of The Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Esposito has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (6 vols.); The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (4 vols.), The Oxford History of Islam, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, and The Islamic World: Past and Present (3 vols.). Esposito’s books and articles have been translated into 35 languages.

His more than 45 books and monographs include: The Future of Islam, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics, World Religions Today and Religion and Globalization (with D. Fasching & T. Lewis), Asian Islam in the 21st Century, Geography of Religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims Walk (with S. Hitchcock); Islam: The Straight Path; Islam and Democracy; and Makers of Contemporary Islam (with J. Voll); Modernizing Islam (with F. Burgat) Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism or Reform?, Religion and Global Order (with M. Watson), Islam and Secularism in the Middle East (with A. Tamimi); Iran at the Crossroads (with R.K. Ramazani); Islam, Gender, and Social Change and Muslims on the Americanization Path and Daughters of Abraham (with Y. Haddad); and Women in Muslim Family Law.

Esposito’s interviews and articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and the media in the US, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Jeanette P. Esposito.


Engy Abdelkader, JD, LL.M.

Senior Research Fellow (Faculty) & Adjunct Professor

Engy Abdelkader is faculty at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where she is a Senior Research Fellow.  She also teaches courses on international terrorism and human rights as well as civil liberties and national security.

An award-winning attorney and scholar, she has worked with Muslims, Arabs and South Asians since 9/11 to address Islamophobia.  Her research and writing explores the gendered dimension to anti-Muslim prejudice as well as religious freedom challenges confronting American Muslims, European Muslims and Burmese Rohingya.

The author of When Islamophobia Turns Violent:  The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, Abdelkader’s legal scholarship has been published in the Fordham International Law Journal, Asian American Law Journal at Berkeley Law and the UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, among others.  Her popular writing has appeared in TIME, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, and other news outlets.

Abdelkader holds two U.S. law degrees including credentials from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as a Constitutional Law teaching fellow and graduated with academic distinction.

Nathan Lean

Research Director

Nathan Lean is a writer and scholar of the Middle East. Formerly the editor of Aslan Media, his three books include, most recently, The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he received an MA in Arab Studies in 2012, Nathan is as a leading voice in national discussions on Islamophobia. His writing has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Salon, The New Republic, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others.


Nazir Harb Michel

Senior Research Fellow

Nazir Harb Michel holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies. Nazir initiated, organized and led the ‘Islamic Literacy at the Woodrow Wilson School Lecture Series’, which trained future policy makers and analysts to detect and counteract Islamophobia in legislation. Since beginning at Georgetown, Nazir has published several articles and book chapters on Muslims in the West and international Islamophobia.


Jordan Denari

Research Fellow

Jordan Denari received a bachelor’s degree in 2013 from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she studied Muslim-Christian relations. A recipient of a State Department Fulbright U.S. Student award, she conducted research on the impact of Christian satellite television on Muslim-Christian coexistence in Amman, Jordan from 2013 to 2014. Jordan has published articles in Time, the Huffington Post, America, and Commonweal among other outlets.


Kristin Garrity Şekerci

Program Coordinator

Kristin Garrity Şekerci received her Master’s degree from American University in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs. In her previous work, she has acquired advocacy experience on both Capitol Hill and the D.C. Council, has worked with Turkish, Central Asian and Azeri diaspora communities in the U.S., and is active in the interfaith community, including Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Daughters of Abraham, and issue-based campaign volunteerism with Jews United for Justice. A convert to Islam, Garrity Sekerci understands at a unique level Muslim-Christian relations and the very real repercussions of Islamophobia. She is committed to working towards transformative dialogue and relations.

Ahmed Rehab

Senior Consultant

Ahmed Rehab is the Executive Director of the Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. An alumnus of the University of Illinois and Depaul University, Rehab serves as a board member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He is a board member and secretary of the Egyptian American Society, a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Muslim task force, and an Eisenhower Fellow of the American Assembly. Rehab is a frequent media commentator on Islamophobia.


Board of Advisors

Steering Committee