Senior Culture Advisor, United Nations Population Fund
Dr. Azza Karam serves as the Senior Culture Advisor at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), where she coordinates Fund-wide global activities on Culture and Religion. Prior to joining UNFPA, she was the Senior Policy Research Advisor at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in the Regional Bureau for Arab States where she worked on the Arab Human Development Reports, among other portfolios including Knowledge and youth. Her programmatic experience spans the fields of global multi-religious collaboration, gender issues, governance, human rights, conflict, and political Islam. Prior to joining the UN, Dr. Karam worked at the World Conference of Religions for Peace where she founded the first Global Women of Faith Network, and advised on issues related to Muslim and Arab affairs. Also during this time, she served as the President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations. She was a Senior Program Officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) where she set up the Arab world and the Women in Politics programmes. She has served as Lecturer at the School of Politics at the Queens University of Belfast, and in Development, Conflict and Humanitarian issues at the University of Amsterdam, among others. She also served as consultant/trainer to the UNDP, OSCE and other international organizations, in the Arab region, Central Asia and Europe. She has authored and edited several books and published numerous articles in several languages. Her books include Transnational Political Islam (Pluto, 2004); Islamisms, Women and the State (Macmillan, 1998); Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers (IIDEA, 1998 and 2007); and a Woman’s Place: Religions Women as Public Actors (WCRP: 2002).