Emily Jane O'Dell

Emily has strong contacts with an impressive number of politicians, academics, Islamic scholars, Muslim leaders, NGOs, and government employees around the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.  She has advised U.S. Senators, been invited to speak at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and spoken at universities and think tanks around the world.  She has a nuanced understanding of the complex and shifting challenges which shape government and private organizations in the Middle East and Central Asia. As she has lived in the Middle East for the past several years, she has had a front row seat to ongoing developments in the so-called “Arab Spring.”

Emily has taught Islam and Sufism at Columbia University and the American University of Beirut. While she was as a Research Fellow for the Islamopedia Initiative at Harvard University, she collected fatwas in a variety of languages from around the world related to politics, gender, terrorism, spiritual and doctrinal concerns, sectarian divisions, family relations, medical ethics, and economics.

For her work on Islam and politics, she has been an Edward A. Hewett Policy Fellow, a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, a Harvard Research Fellow, a Harvard Traveling Scholar, a Title VIII Research Fellow, an IREX Fellow, and a State Department Critical Language Fellow.

She is available to offer her extensive knowledge on the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia to the media, private companies, government organizations, NGOs, and think tanks around the world on a variety of topics related to politics, religion, Islamic law, and gender.

Meeting with colleagues in Tehran (Photo: Emily O'Dell)