Part-time and Adjunct Faculty

The Elliott School's part-time and adjunct faculty is comprised of superb scholars whose research makes important contributions to our understanding of the world. Being in the heart of Washington, DC enables us to draw on the tremendous intellectual firepower that abounds in the policy community, think tanks, NGOs, and international organizations.


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Ali Akkache: Lecturer
Mr. Akkache received his M.A. in Communications from the University of Algiers in 1991. He has since then taught French at numerous universities and language institutes. Additionally, he has worked as a radio journalist since 1997. His experiences include, U.S. Correspondent, Radio Algeria, U.S. Information Agency, Voice of America, and Anchorman and Section Chief of Radio Algiers.
Email: [email protected]

Michael Allison: Lecturer

In addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School, Mike Allison serves as a Senior Foreign Engagement Officer for the Foreign Partnerships team at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  He specializes in building foreign partnerships for East Asia, India, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Previously, Mike served as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Europe at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) where he specialized in Aegean Security Issues, Islam in Europe, Energy, European/Middle East issues and counter-terrorism efforts on behalf of the NIO/Europe office. Prior to joining the NIC in July of 2010, he served as Division Chief for the Latin America/Europe/Eurasia/Africa division of the J-2, Joint Chiefs of Staff’s analytical support office. A 20 year retired veteran of the US Army, Mike graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1990 and spent half of his career as an Infantry officer (1990-1999) and the other half as a Foreign Area Officer (1999-2010) for both the Middle East as well as Europe.  He has served in a variety of analytical positions that include the Army Staff’s Foreign Intelligence Directorate (2002-2005) and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Latin America/Europe/Eurasia Africa Directorate (2006-2008).  He holds an M.A. in Middle East Studies and is fluent in Turkish.

Ibtihaj Alsani: Lecturer
Ibtihaj is a professor of Aabic Language at Jordan University, and was a visiting professor at the University of Maryland. She received her M.A. in 2010 from the University of Jordan. Ibtihaj's professorial interests include Arabic language and literature. She has developed new courses as a professor at Jordan university and is the recipiant of the 2012 University Teaching award.  

Ibtihaj resides with her family in Maryland. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga and exploring the culinary and cultural institutions of Washington, D.C.

Khalil Al-Anani: Professorial Lecturer
Dr. Khalil al-Anani has previously taught at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, the School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University, and Durham University. Professor al-Anani's research focuses on the intersection of comparative politics (particularly authoritarianism and democratization), sociology (particularly sociology of religion), and social movements. He is a leading academic expert on Islamist movements particularly the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism in the Middle East where he spent the last decade researching them. He is the author of several books in Arabic and English, including "Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: Religion, Identity, and Politics" (Oxford University Press, forthcoming),"Elections and Democratization in the Middle East" (co-editor Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), and "The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: Gerontocracy Fighting against Time?" (Cairo: Shorouk Press, 2007). Dr. al-Anani has also published several journal articles, policy papers, and op-ed pieces in leading journals and newspapers including the Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Sociology of Islam, Washington Post, and CNN. He is a frequent commentator on Middle East politics at different media outlets including CNN, BBC, PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Alhurra.
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Khalilalanani

Nathalie Al-Zyoud: Lecturer
Nathalie is the founder of Communities in Transition (CIT) and currently works as CIT's Managing Partner and Mediator. She has over 18 years of experience in the field of conflict management, both domestically and internationally, and has mediated conflicts ranging from workplace, family, and community disputes, to the re-entry of inmates back into society. Nathalie graduated from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a Master in Public Policy (2013) and holds two bachelor's degrees in Economics of Poverty and Psychology from Boston University (1995).  Between 1995 and 2004, Nathalie worked in various supervisory capacities in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation teaching violent offenders conflict resolution skills. 

Nathalie has also created Caring for Kaela (CFK), an international NGO seeking to build the foundation for peaceful and productive communities in Chad. Through her track-II diplomatic efforts she worked to bring conflict parties to the negotiation table and resolve Chad's internal conflicts (2005-2009). A seasoned mobilizer, she built a global advocacy network for sustainable peace in Chad drawing on a variety of high-level stakeholders to pressure the Government of Chad to open the lines of communication with armed opposition groups. She negotiated Chad policy changes with UN, USG, and EU representatives. She provided a conduit for Chadian civic leader to meet with several Heads of States and participate in the peace processes led by the late-Presidents of Gabon and Libya. Originally from Belgium and married to a Jordanian-national, Nathalie is fluent in English and French. 
Email: [email protected]

Gary Anderson: Lecturer
Gary W Anderson is the Vice President for Unconventional Operations with a major Defense consulting firm. Mr. Anderson is formerly a fellow with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and remains on their Board of Visitors. He served as the first Director of the Marine Corps' Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities and then Directed Potomac's National Center for Unconventional Thought. He did pioneering work in the areas of military robotics, non-lethal weapons, and urban operations. He also served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for matters concerning constabulary and counterinsurgency operations and helped train the first several groups of Marine Corps advisors to the Iraqi Army. He also teaches a course in Alternative Analysis: Red Team at George Washington University at the graduate level.

Before joining the Potomac Institute Mr. Anderson served for twenty-nine years in the Marine Corps, retiring as a Colonel. Mr. Anderson was a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and received his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Pepperdine University. He also attended the National Security Studies course at the Maxwell School of Public Administration at Syracuse University. He is a member of the Marine Corps Association and serves on the executive committee of the National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue and sits on several DAPRA panels studying urban warfare technologies. He also regularly contributes to the opinion and book review pages of The Washington Post and Washington Times and is the author of two of the monographs in the Newport Paper series, "Byond Mahan", and "Toward a Pax Universalis".
Email: [email protected]

Semhar Araia

Semhar Araia: Professorial Lecturer
Semhar Araia is a lawyer and specialist on US-Africa relations, international humanitarian law, conflict resolution, international development and diaspora engagement. She teaches on conflict, identity and development in the Horn of Africa and is the founder and executive director of the Diaspora African Women's Network (DAWN), an organization whose mission is to develop and support the next generation of African diaspora women focused on African affairs. Semhar previously worked for Oxfam International, US Congress, The Elders, and as an attorney for the implementation of the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia peace agreement. She is also a consultant to think tanks, non-profit organizations and academic centers.

Semhar has extensive experience working with local communities in the diaspora and East Africa. She is a White House Champion of Change and African Union Diaspora Awardee of the Year, recognized for her outstanding contributions in the Africa diaspora community. Her work has also been featured in Al Jazeera, BBC News, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor and a variety of other media outlets.  Semhar earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Saint Thomas and her juris doctor from Marquette University Law School.
Email: [email protected]

Suren Avanesyan: Lecturer
Suren Avanesyan is an expert in foreign policy and assistance with concentration on Russia, Ukraine, Newly Independent States, and Eastern Europe.  He was a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Office of Russian Affairs in the Department of State.  Mr. Avanesyan is a Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia of USAID. With fourteen years of foreign assistance experience, Mr. Avanesyan provides support to the national governments to develop their capacity to meet the rule of law, anti-corruption and good governance requirements, in order for these countries to join the EU, WTO, OECD.  He has worked in over a dozen Eastern European countries and the former Soviet Union, and has a native fluency in Russian. He actively participates in the interagency and has been a member of dozens of NSC-led IPC and sub-IPC processes. A frequent presenter and lecturer on the rule of law, anti-corruption, good governance, human right, Russia and the former Soviet Union, he is affiliated with several academic institutions.

GW Making History

Elliott School faculty member James Foster, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, was impressed by our location from the start.