CIGI Senior Fellow Bessma Momani has a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international political economy and is full professor and interim assistant vice-president of international relations at the University of Waterloo. She is a non-resident senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC, and a Fulbright Scholar. She was a 2015 fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and also previously served as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and as a non-resident fellow at the Stimson Center, and was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center.
Bessma currently sits on the board of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and the University of Waterloo’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute. She is also an adviser to the National Security Transparency Advisory Group at Public Safety Canada.
Bessma has received a number of awards and prizes for her research and work. She has been awarded multiple Insight Development Grants, Insight Grants and Connection Grants funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is currently the leader of a three-year-funded Department of National Defence network called the Defence and Security Foresight Group tasked with providing policy-relevant advice to the Department of National Defence.
In recent years, Bessma spearheaded the Pluralism Project with Trudeau Mentor Jillian Stirk, which explored the link between diversity and economic prosperity and the role of globally connected citizens. This has led to a multi-million-dollar funding grant from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on a pilot project bringing visible minority women into the Canadian economy.
Bessma has authored, co-authored and co-edited numerous books, including:
- Strengthening the Canadian Armed Forces through Diversity and Inclusion;
- What’s Wrong with the IMF and How to Fix It;
- Egypt beyond Tahrir Square;
- Arab Dawn: Arab Youth and the Demographic Dividend They Will Bring;
- Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab Canadians;
- Shifting Geo-Economic Power of the Gulf: Oil, Finance and Institutions;
- From Desolation to Reconstruction: Iraq’s Troubled Journey;
- Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice;
- IMF-Egyptian Debt Negotiations; and
- Twentieth Century World History: A Canadian Perspective.
In addition, Bessma has written more than 80 scholarly papers or book chapters examining the IMF, the World Bank, gender and diversity, petrodollars, the political economy of the Middle East and the geopolitics of the Arab Gulf and the Middle East, and published in numerous journals, including:
- Review of International Political Economy;
- International Political Sociology;
- Canadian Public Administration;
- Asian Affairs;
- Global Society;
- Journal of International Relations and Development;
- New Political Economy;
- International Journal;
- Canadian Journal of Political Science;
- Review of International Organizations;
- Middle East Review of International Affairs;
- The World Economy;
- New Political Economy;
- Journal of European Integration; and
- World Economics.
As a political analyst on the Middle East, international affairs and the global economy, Bessma has written editorials in The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, the National Post and the Toronto Star. She is also a regular media contributor, having done thousands of live interviews, with CNN, CBC News, CTV, Al Jazeera, CGTN, TRT World and BNN Bloomberg.