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Azza Karam, Ph.D. serves as a Senior Advisor on Culture and Social Development at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In this capacity, Dr. Karam supports fund-wide culture outreach as a Lead Facilitator for the United Nations Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development and Humanitarian Issues. She represents UNFPA as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging Faith-Based Organizations for Development; and coordinates engagement with members of a Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development with over 500 faith-based organizations.
Prior to UNFPA, Dr. Karam served in various capacities in the academic, NGO and international inter-governmental sectors.
She served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where she coordinated the Arab Human Development Reports and managed regional programmes on Higher Education, Math and Science Learning, and ICT for Development.
With the support of the Ford Foundation, she founded the first Global Women of Faith Network during her tenure at Religions for Peace, while also advising on interfaith development work in Muslim-majority countries. During this time, she served also as President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.
She was a Senior Programme Officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Sweden, where she instituted projects on democracy and human rights in the Arab Region, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
She was an international consultant to several developmental programmes with UNDP and the OECD as well as a number of NGO initiatives between the European Union and the Arab and Central Asian regions.
She taught at a number of universities and has published widely on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, gender, and religion and development. Her books include Religion and Development Post 2015 (2014: UNFPA); Religion, Development and the United Nations (NY: SSRC, 2012), Transnational Political Islam (Pluto, 2004), Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers (IIDEA: 2004); A Woman’s Place: Religious Women as Public Actors (WCRP: 2002); and Women, Islamisms and the State: Contemporary Feminisms in Egypt (Macmillan/Palgrave,1998). For a fuller list of publications, see: http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-nr96011457/