Geneive Abdo, a fellow in the Middle East program at the Stimson Center, specializes in issues regarding modern Iran and political Islam. She also co-chairs a program on Iran in conjunction with the Heinrich Boell Stiftung, North America.
She was formerly the Liaison Officer for the Alliance of Civilizations, a United Nations initiative established by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which aims to improve relations between Islamic and Western societies.
Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Abdo was a foreign correspondent. Her 20-year career focused on coverage of the Middle East and the Muslim world. From 1998-2001, Ms.Abdo was the Iran correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian and a regular contributor to The Economist and the International Herald Tribune. She was the first American journalist to be based in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Ms. Abdo is the author of No God But God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2000), a work that documents the social and political transformation of Egypt into an Islamic society. The book is the first to detail the leading figures and events responsible for giving moderate Islamists in Egypt enormous social and political power. A forthcoming, new edition of the book is scheduled to be published by OUP in the winter of 2012.
Ms. Abdo is the coauthor of Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First Century Iran (Henry Holt, 2003), a work that explains the theological struggle in Iran among the Shiite clerics and how this struggle has caused political stagnation. Her latest book on Muslims in America, Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Lfe in America After 9/11, was published in September 2006 by Oxford University Press. This book explained the changing identity among American Muslims as they struggle to keep true to their faith while deciding to what degree they will integrate into American society.
From 2001-2002, Ms. Abdo was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. That year, she also received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim award.
Ms. Abdo’s commentaries and essays on Islam have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Quarterly, The New Republic, Newsweek, The Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, CNN, and Middle East Report. She has been a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the Oprah Winfrey show, al Jazeera, PBS, and other radio and television services.
She is a regular speaker at universities, think tanks, and other institutions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.