Personal tools

You are here: Home / UCDAR Consortium / About the UCDAR Consortium / Steering Committee

Steering Committee


The UC Davis and Arab Region (UCDAR) Consortium is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from each partner university.  The Steering Committee makes collective decisions about the strategic direction and focus areas of the Consortium and supports university engagement in specific projects.  The Steering Committee meets on a quarterly basis (including in-person in the Arab region and virtually) to discuss progress on current projects and develop new initiatives. 

Current members of the Steering Committee are:

Hala Muhtasib, Interim Associate Provost and Professor of Cell Biology

John Swanson, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor; Associate Provost

Khaled Assaleh, Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies

Fuad A. HashwaProfessor of Microbiology and Biotechnology and Coordinator of EU-Erasmus Mundus Exchange Program

Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, Chair of UCDAR Steering Committee

Henry R. Giacaman (Jaqaman), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Birzeit University and UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Steering Committee Member Biographies

University of California, Davis

Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, Chair of UCDAR Steering Committee

Suad Joseph Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; Founder of UCDAR; and Chair of UCDAR Steering Committee. Dr. Joseph's research has included the politicization of religious sects in Lebanon, and the impact of women's networks and community organization on local and national politics; the interface of gender, family and state in the Middle East; theorization of culturally situated notions of "self", "rights", "citizenship". She is doing a longitudinal study of how children learn notions of rights and citizenship in a Lebanese village and of transnational families. She is analyzing the representation of Arabs, Muslims, Arab American and Muslim Americans in major American print new media. She is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She founded the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association); the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and the Arab Families Research Group. She founded a consortium including the American University of Beirut, the American University of Cairo, the Lebanese American University, Birzeit University and University of California, Davis. She co-founded the Arab American Studies Association and the Association for Middle East Anthropology. She was the president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. She co-founded the Women and Gender Studies Program and founded the Middle East/South Asia Program at UC Davis.


American University of Beirut

Hala Muhtasib, Interim Associate Provost and Professor of Cell Biology

Hala Muhtasib is Interim Associate Provost and Professor of Cell Biology at the American University of Beirut. She received her BS and MS in Biology from AUB and her PhD from Kansas State University. She joined AUB in 1994 as Assistant Professor. In 2004 she was promoted to Professor and served as the Chair of Department of Biology in 2006-2009, Acting Director of Office of International Programs in 2013-2014, and Chair of the Enrollment Management Unit since 2012.  In 2014, Hala Muhtasib was appointed in the Faculty of Medicine to develop the Center for Drug Discovery, a center that will ultimately create developmental paths to new discoveries in the drug discovery field at AUB to help in the advancement of therapies.  Since 2012, Hala Muhtasib has been Chair of Enrollment Management Unit where she supports institutional best practices in new student recruitment, and student-centered services. Hala Muhtasib is a prominent scholar in the study of the role of natural products in cancer prevention and therapy.  She has published on mechanisms of action of anticancer drugs. She is the recipient of three research achievement awards, Suad Al-Sabbah, Abdul Hameed Shoman Prize for Young Arab Researchers, and ISESCO Science Prize for contributions in Biology. She is the recipient of the Farouk Jabr Award for outstanding scientific research. She is the recipient of a one million dollar grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation. She recently received funding from the National German Foundation (DFG), Swedish Research Council (Sweden), and Medical Practice Plan (AUB) to advance the field of natural product drug discovery and drug delivery.

American University in Cairo 


John Swanson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor; Associate Provost



American University of Sharjah 

Khaled Assaleh, Ph.D., Interim Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Studies, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering

Khaled Assaleh is the Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The Office of Research and Graduate Studies administers and monitors internal and external research and consultancy grants, promotes interdisciplinary and collaborative research and ensures ethical and responsible research practice through the Institutional Review Board. The office also coordinates and oversees the academic operations of the university's graduate programs.

From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Assaleh served as the Director of Graduate Studies. He also served as the Vice President of the AUS Faculty Senate in the academic year 2006-2007. Dr. Assaleh holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, where he teaches courses in the areas of signal processing and pattern recognition. His research interests include bio-signal processing, biometrics, speech and image processing, and pattern recognition. Dr. Assaleh is a senior member of the IEEE. Dr. Assaleh holds 11 US patents and has published over 100 articles in signal/image processing and pattern recognition and their applications. He has served on the organization committees of several international conferences including ISSPA, ICCSPA, MECBME and ISMA. He has also served as a guest editor for several special issues of journals.

Dr. Assaleh received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA, in 1993. He then worked as a Research Professor at the CAIP Center of Rutgers University for one year. From 1994 through 2002, he had a career in industry as a Senior Staff Engineer with Motorola, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, and as an Engineering Group Leader and with Rockwell Semiconductor Systems (Conexant/Skyworks) in Newport Beach, California.



Lebanese American University (LAU)

Fuad A. Hashwa, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology & Biotechnology; Coordinator of EU-Erasmus+ Exchange Program; Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, Office of Graduate Studies and Research

Fuad A. Hashwa is a Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology and Coordinator of EU-Erasmus Mundus Exchange Program at Lebanese American University (LAU). Since graduation with a Ph.D. in November 1972 from the University of Goettingen, Fuad Hashwa has taught graduate and undergraduate Biology and specifically Microbiology, Cell Biology & Developmental Biology courses at various universities in Germany, Jordan, the United States, and Lebanon.  Fuad Hashwa’s experience in graduate studies (MSc and Ph.D.) stemmed out of the numerous research projects mostly carried out in the environmental and applied fields of Microbiology. His past and current research interests are in: biotechnology and industrial microbiology of agricultural liquid and solid waste products and conversion to useful products and biogas;  bio-treatment, re-mediation and recycling of liquid wastes rich in organic compounds; environmental impact studies (impact on fresh and marine water resources); water microbiology of aquatic environments (fresh, saline and marine); biological and chemical pollution studies on aquatic environments;  drinking water microbiology of aquifers and reservoirs.


Birzeit University

Henry R. Jaqaman, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs; UNESCO Chair in Mathematics & Theoretical Physics; Professor, Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics

Henry R. Jaqaman is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the holder of the UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Birzeit University. Born in Bethlehem, Palestine, he received his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1977 from Rutgers University in the USA. His main research interests are related to investigating the properties and the equation of state of hot hadronic matter. Professor Jaqaman has spent several years as a visiting research scientist at several research centers including the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin, Germany and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, USA. He previously served as Dean of Graduate Studies at Birzeit University. 

This is Sliced Diazo Plone Theme