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Prof. Azza Karam

Prof. Azza Karam (PhD) served as the Secretary General of Religions for Peace. She holds a Professorship of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – of which she is a citizen.

Dr. Karam currently is a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s ‘High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism’.

Prior to joining Religions for Peace, she served for nearly two decades in the United Nations (UNDP and UNFPA), including as a Coordinator of the Arab Human Development Reports, a Senior Advisor on Culture, and Lead Facilitator/Trainer for the UN Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development and Diplomacy. During her time in the UN, she founded and was Convenor of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development as well as the Multi-Faith Advisory Council of that Task Force.

She has worked internationally since the 1980s, including with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA), the OECD, and the EU, and has taught and lectured in various academic institutions in Europe, North America (including the United States Military Academy/West Point), and in the Arab region.

Her Ph.D. (in 1996), focused on Political Islam, and became her first book in Arabic and English. She has since published widely, in several languages, on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, peace and security, gender, religious engagement, and sustainable development.

Dr. Karam received many awards over the years, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from John Cabot University (Rome, Italy). She was born in Egypt, lived and worked in many continents, and now resides in the United States.

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