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Prof. Azza Karam

Dr. Azza Karam is a member of the United Nations’ Secretary General High Level Advisory Board on Multilateralism, a Professor of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Secretary General Emerita of Religions for Peace International.

She served for nearly two decades in the United Nations (in UNDP and UNFPA), where she Coordinated the Arab Human Development Reports, co-founded and Chaired the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion – with over 20 UN system bodies – and founded and convened its Multi Faith Advisory Council, as part of the 750 global NGO database she coordinated. During her tenure at the United Nations, Azza was a Lead Facilitator for the peer to peer “Strategic Learning Exchanges” on religion, development and diplomacy. Apart from the work in the United States, she has worked with other intergovernmental and international organisations such as the OSCE, the EU, and International IDEA in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and East and Central Asia, where she created and managed global programmes on Women and Politics, Democracy and/In the Middle East, and Applied Research on Democracy.

She has lectured and taught in various universities, including West Point Military Academy (from 2002 to 2018). She has published widely, and was translated into several languages (on political Islam, gender and women’s rights, Human Rights, democracy, conflict, peacemaking, and education).

She has received multiple awards, including for her work on/in the United Nations, as well as in/on Interfaith work and Culture. She was awarded an honorary Degree by John Cabot University in 2022. Born in Egypt, Azza is also a citizen of the Netherlands.

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