Dalia Ziada is one of Egypt’s leading human rights activists and Executive Director of the Center for Middle East and East Mediterranean Studies. She is also Chairperson of the Liberal Democracy Institute.
After Egypt’s 2011 revolution, Ziada co-founded a political party and ran for parliament. Negative perceptions of women in Egyptian society prevented her from winning, but also motivated her to fight to improve the status of women in her native country.
Previously, as Founding Director of the American Islamic Congress’ Middle East and North Africa Bureau, Dalia focused on implementing grassroots field projects that educate citizens in the Muslim world about human rights, civil freedoms, nonviolent conflict, and religious tolerance. Before AIC, Ziada worked for several local and regional NGOs.
Major organizations have recognized Ziada‘s outstanding advocacy for women’s rights, civil freedoms, and liberal democracy in the Middle East. She was named by Newsweek for two years in a row as one of world’s most influential and fearless women; named by CNN as one of the Arab World’s eight agents of change; selected by The Daily Beast as one of the world’s bravest bloggers; received Tufts University Presidential Award for civil work; received the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Award; and was named by TIME as a women’s rights champion.
She holds a master’s degree from the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and currently writes for The Levant and See News.