Maryam Z. Deloffre

Headshot of Maryam Deloffre

Maryam Z. Deloffre

Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Humanitarian Action Initiative

Department: Humanitarian Action Initiative


1957 E St. NW, Office #601F Washington, D.C. 20052


I am Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Humanitarian Action Initiative at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. In 2019-2020 I was a Senior Research Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Between 2011-2018, I was an Assistant, then Associate (with tenure) Professor of Political Science at Arcadia University where I taught courses in both the undergraduate program in Political Science and in the graduate (M.A.) program in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR). I also served as the Assistant Director of the IPCR program from 2011-2013.

My research and publications focus on the governance and coordination of global humanitarian action with empirical emphasis on collective quality and accountability standard-setting, the coordination of emergency response and localization. My previous publications examine the processes through which standard-setting initiatives like the Red Cross Code of Conduct, Sphere, and HAP-I emerge and evolve. I have also investigated the coordination and governance of global pandemic response with empirical focus on the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the COVID-19 pandemic. This research has appeared or is forthcoming in Review of International StudiesInternational Studies Review, Global Health GovernancePS: Political Science and Politics, and several book chapters.

My on-going research in this area explores the entire ecosystem of humanitarian accountability, drawing on concepts of the field and communities of practice, I investigate how field dynamics, metagovernance norms and practices produce coordination and collective action in the humanitarian sector, but also reinforce existing hierarchies.

A second area of research examines non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In an ongoing co-edited book project, Sigrid Quack and I propose a relational approach to NGOs. We suggest the prevalent focus in international relations on NGOs as entities (actors) and the outcomes of their actions misses much about their politics and power. We propose investigating NGO interactions and relationships to better understand their agency, power and authority.

I teach graduate courses on humanitarianism and global governance in the International Development Studies program.

Humanitarian Governance and Coordination; NGOs; NGO Accountability; Global Governance; Pandemic response

B.A. in Political Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,
M.A. in International Relations, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris-Fondation Nationale de Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po),
Ph.D. in Political Science, The George Washington University