Patricia Karam is Middle East North Africa Regional Division Director at IRI. In this role she is responsible for the strategic oversight and leadership of a multimillion portfolio of programs focused on citizen-responsive governance, political party development, legislative strengthening, and civil society capacity-building.  

Karam has held senior managerial positions in non-government organizations over the past 20 years. She has worked 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. Karam has a track record of designing and leading field-based teams and programs with concrete implications on long-term, local institutional capacity, and resilience to instability and conflict. She has participated in organizational knowledge management efforts and has demonstrated a commitment to integrating monitoring and evaluation approaches to shape adaptive responses to complex problems. 

As MENA director at Natural Resource Governance Institute, Karam was responsible for over 30 research, advocacy, grant-making, technical assistance projects aimed at improving natural resource governance. She established and ran multiple country offices with the influx of US and UK government funding. As deputy director at International Center for Transitional Justice, she oversaw educational transitional justice programs and spearheaded the expansion of the Documentation Affinity Group, a global network of action-oriented grassroots documentation-focused group. 

Karam held a combination of field-based management and implementation, fundraising, and grants-making roles at the US Institute of Peace, Iraq Foundation and the Iraq Embassy, and NYU’s Trauma Studies Program. Her thematic expertise covers political party development, conflict-mitigation, peace-building and transitions, good governance and anti-corruption, natural resource management, transitional justice and human rights, and women’s empowerment. She holds a dual BA from Brown University and an MSFS degree from Georgetown University. Her PhD work at New York University revolved around identity politics in the Western Sahara.

Authored Content

Authored External Content

mIDDLE eAST iNSTITUTE

With Lokman Slim’s assassination, Hezbollah consolidates its power over Lebanon

The cold-blooded assassination of Hezbollah critic and Lebanese activist Lokman Slim on Feb. 4 is yet another manifestation of Iran’s growing boldness in the country.

The hILL

Can Lebanon avert its slow death?

As Lebanon deals with the pandemic and economic crisis in the aftermath of the port blast last summer, its health care system is on the brink of total collapse.

tHE hILL

Afghanistan should be wary of a government with power sharing

While the peace talks in Afghanistan are stalled until the administration of Joe Biden takes new action, calls for more power sharing mechanisms…

tHE hILL

A fragile democracy in Tunisia

One decade after a young street vendor set himself on fire and fueled the Tunisian revolution, which took down its authoritarian leader and inspired the protesters around the Middle East…

tHE hILL

China backs Iran in times of crisis

China and Iran are foreign policy challenges for Joe Biden. Iran, burdened by sanctions, corruption, and a terrible coronavirus outbreak…

tHE hILL

Morocco faces an ultimate test of government with Western Sahara

Morocco made headlines as the latest Arab country to normalize relations with Israel, following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan.

tHE hILL

Small steps toward justice in Syria

After nearly a decade of war, Syrians have endured over 500,000 deaths, over 200 chemical attacks, 12 million displacements…

The Hill

What is at stake in Jordan?

An economic crisis threatens the political stability of Jordan in the wake of a legislative election with the designation of seasoned diplomat…

The Hill

The fundamental limits of the authoritarian state of Algeria

Algeria will run a referendum in over a week on a new constitution meant to bolster democracy by increasing the powers of the prime minister and parliament.

The Hill

Lebanese revolution comes full circle with the first anniversary

The return of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri as head of a government which could avert economic collapse in Lebanon is a real possibility…

The Hill

An uncertain future for Afghanistan

Afghanistan is at a critical juncture with a peace deal on the horizon that will decide its fate without really giving its people a say.

The Dispatch

The U.S. Should Not Let Iraqi Prime Minister Kadhimi Fail

In recent days, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that the U.S. will close its embassy…

The Hill

Riskier Turkish adventurism may threaten Middle East and beyond

The secret of success for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan around the Middle East used to be the exports of soap operas depicting the ideal Muslim society.

The Hill

Syrians need hope for better future

Coronavirus quarantine centers for Syria, like the detention centers where citizens are persecuted and left to die, remind us of the staying power…

The Hill

The roadway to reform in Lebanon must tackle the issue of Hezbollah

Only hours before the second visit from President Emmanuel Macron of France to Lebanon last week, the political elite selected Mustafa Adib as the new prime minister.

The Hill

Saving society in Iraq starts with removing close influence of Iran

The recent killing of activist Reham Yacoub by gunmen in Basra marks another case of why Iraq needs to get rid of Iran to save itself.

World Politics Review

Can Lebanon Rebuild Not Just Beirut, but Its Broken Political System?

The devastating explosion that tore through Beirut earlier this month exposed the elite corruption at the heart of Lebanese governance.

Arab Center

The Explosions in Beirut and Their Repercussions for Lebanon

The explosions that destroyed the Port of Beirut on August 4th are the most recent in a series of catastrophic events that have befallen Lebanon and its people.

The Hill

Can Iraq win the war on corruption?

As Iraq resumes negotiations with the United States over the fate of the strategic relationship, hopes have been raised that the reformist Prime…

Brookings

Is there new hope in Algeria?

The surprise resignation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of popular protests has raised hopes that genuine democratic…

Up ArrowTop