Dr. Bessma Momani is Full Professor in the Department of Political Science and Assistant Vice-President of Research and International at the University of Waterloo. She is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States’ Institute in Washington, DC, and a Fulbright Scholar. She is a Governor on the board of the International Development Research Centre and an Executive member of the board of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
She was interim Associate Vice-President, Interdisciplinary and Sponsored Research 2021-2022, Assistant Vice-President, International Relations at the University of Waterloo in 2020, Assistant Vice-President, Research and International in the Office of Research in 2021, a 2015 fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC, and was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center. Bessma is a Fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and sits on the Advisory Council to the Middle East Institute’s program on Economics and Energy. She also sits on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal
She has worked as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, both in the communications office and the Independent Evaluation Office. She has also consulted for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as a 2021 Visiting Scholar in its International Assistance Research and Knowledge Division by looking at economic security and digital transformations in the Middle East with a particular focus on women and youth, helping GAC devise its new Middle East strategy. From 2018- 2022 she served as member of 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, Partnership Development and Engage Grants, and Connection Grants funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. From 2019 to 2022, she served as the director 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 which explored the link between Canadian diversity and economic prosperity. This has led to a multi-million-dollar funding grant from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on bringing visible minority women into the Canadian economy and Heritage Canada on the impact of disinformation on ethnocultural communities.
Bessma has authored, co-authored and co-edited more than twelve books. In addition, she has written more than 80 peer-reviewed academic articles or book chapters that examine international organizations, international political economy, gender and diversity, cybersecurity and digital transformations, political economy of the Middle East and geopolitics of the Middle East.
As a frequent media and political analyst on the Middle East, international affairs and the global economy, Bessma has written frequent editorials in The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, Washington Post, the National Post and the Toronto Star. She is also a regular media contributor, having done thousands of live broadcast interviews, with CNN, CBC News, CTV, Al Jazeera, PBS, TRT World and BNN Bloomberg.