Non-resident fellows expand the Center's field of expertise within the broader field of Islamic studies.
Abbas Barzager, Ph.D., is the National Director for Research and Advocacy at the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), where he directs multiple projects exploring the causes and consequences of anti-Muslim bigotry as well as Muslim engagement in contemporary American life. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University in 2010 and is a recognized expert in American Muslim history, transnational Muslim civil society and early Islamic social and intellectual history. Dr. Barzegar also has extensive experience in the applied research space, having worked on and led multiple cross-sector and international projects. He is a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a regular commentator in media and policy circles. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the co-author of Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam (Stanford, 2009). His work has been supported by The European Union, The British Council, The US Institute of Peace (USIP), the Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). His commentary and analysis can be found in a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Aljazeera.
Ann S. Birkelbach
Ann Birkelbach teaches courses on Religion and Art at George Mason University. She teaches courses in Art History at Northern Virginia Community College, and Islamic Art and Architecture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Ann has conducted lectures on Islamic Art and Architecture for the Smithsonian Resident Associates, World Art History Program. Prior to her teaching role, she served as Assistant Director at the Center for Global Islamic Studies (2010-2019) and Program Coordinator for the MEIS program. Ms. Birkelbach received dual master's degrees in Art History and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures from Indiana University at Bloomington. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.