Patricia Karam

Patricia Karam

ACW Position

Non-resident Fellow



Patricia Karam

Non-resident Fellow, Arab Center Washington DC

Patricia Karam is a Non-resident Fellow at Arab Center Washington DC. She held multiple senior managerial positions in nongovernmental organizations over the past 20 years, working at the nexus of problem analysis, policy formulation, and impactful program implementation aimed at social and policy change in a range of complex, conflict-ridden settings across the globe. Most recently, Karam was Middle East North Africa (MENA) Regional Director at the International Republican Institute, where she was responsible for the strategic oversight and leadership of a multimillion-dollar portfolio of programs focused on citizen-responsive governance, political party development, legislative strengthening, and civil society capacity-building.

Prior to that, as MENA Director at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Karam was responsible for research, advocacy, grant-making, and technical assistance projects aimed at improving natural resource governance managed through country offices she established in Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, and Libya. As a deputy director at the International Center for Transitional Justice, she oversaw educational transitional justice programs and spearheaded the expansion of a Documentation Affinity Group, a global network of action-oriented and grassroots documentation-focused human rights groups. She also held a combination of senior management, fundraising, and grant-making roles at the US Institute of Peace, Iraq Foundation, the Iraqi Embassy, and New York University’s Trauma Studies Program.

Karam’s research expertise covers political party development, conflict-mitigation, peacebuilding and transitions, good governance and anti-corruption, natural resource management, transitional justice and human rights, and gender/women’s rights and empowerment. She has published widely on the politics of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and North Africa, as well as on great power competition and the dynamics of authoritarianism and conflict in the broader Middle East region. She holds a dual Political Science/Religious Studies BA from Brown University and an MSFS degree with an Arab Studies concentration from Georgetown University. Her PhD work at New York University revolved around identity politics in the Western Sahara.