Hear from Students & Alumni

CMES is home to approximately 50 graduate students in our AM and joint PhD programs. Our network of over 700 alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, NGOs, business, government, journalism, and more. Meet a few of our students and alumni here and learn about their research and experiences at CMES.

Student Profiles

Mouhanad Al Rifay

Q&A With Mouhanad Al Rifay

April 26, 2021

CMES AM candidate Mouhanad Al Rifay is a Syrian-American award-winning documentary filmmaker, humanitarian, and human rights activist. At CMES he is focused on journalism and nonfiction narrative writing and developing further expertise in Middle East–focused critical political and cultural commentary. After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2014 with a BA in Psychology, International Development, and Conflict Management, Al Rifay managed various USAID-funded programs at leading international development organizations in Washington, DC. He also co-founded...

Read more about Q&A With Mouhanad Al Rifay
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Alumni Profiles

Medhini Kumar near Lake Tiberias

Q&A With Medhini Kumar

February 4, 2021

Medhini Kumar is a 2016 graduate of the CMES AM Program in Middle Eastern Studies. She currently works as Communications Manager for UNRWA USA, an American nonprofit that is committed to bettering the lives of Palestine refugees through advocacy efforts in the United States and fundraising for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) programs in the Middle East.... Read more about Q&A With Medhini Kumar

Asher Orkaby 2017

Q&A with Asher Orkaby

October 27, 2017

Asher Orkaby is a 2014 graduate of Harvard’s joint PhD program in History and Middle Eastern Studies. He is currently a research associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a lecturer at Harvard Extension School. His book, Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International History of the Yemen Civil War, 1962-1968, was published by Oxford University Press in July. The book offers a reframing of the Yemen Civil War, emphasizing that it should be understood in the context of Yemeni nationalism and local dynamics, and not just as another proxy conflict in the Arab Cold War. CMES AM candidate Anna Boots sat down with Orkaby to talk about the book, his research, and his time at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.... Read more about Q&A with Asher Orkaby

Eugene Rogan 2017

Q&A with Eugene Rogan

October 19, 2017

Eugene Rogan is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History and Director of St. Antony’s Middle East Centre at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Arabs: A History, which has been translated into ten languages and was named one of the best books of 2009 by the Economist, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly. He completed his AM in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 1984 and his PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 1991. Rogan returned to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on September 21, 2017, to talk about his most recent book, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920 (2015). CMES AM candidate Blaire Byg sat down with him to ask a few questions about his most recent book, his time at CMES, and his future projects.... Read more about Q&A with Eugene Rogan

Hassan Al-Damluji

Q&A with Hassan Al-Damluji

January 22, 2016

Hassan Al-Damluji, CMES AM ’08, is Head of Middle East Relations at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is responsible for the foundation’s Middle East strategy across program areas and serves as the lead Middle East adviser to Bill and Melinda Gates.... Read more about Q&A with Hassan Al-Damluji

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