Azza Karam

Photo of Azza Karam, Senior Advisor on Culture, United Nations Population Fund


Senior Advisor on Culture, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


Azza Karam is Senior Advisor on Culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York. Prior to that, she worked as the Senior Policy Research Advisor at the United Nations Development Program, the Regional Bureau for Arab States, and was the Special Advisor on Middle East and Islamic Affairs to the Secretary General of and the Director of Women's Programs at the World Conference of Religions for Peace International. 

Her experience spans the fields of multi-religious collaboration, international gender issues, democratization, human rights, conflict, and political Islam. Karam also worked as a Senior Program Officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), working in the Middle East (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen), Europe (The Netherlands, Sweden and Northern Ireland), where she managed training projects and programs, as well as lecturing on issues of conflict, peace building, transitional justice and humanitarian intervention. As a Programme Manager at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, at the Queens University of Belfast, Karam was a consultant and trainer to various international organizations in Yemen, Uzbekistan and Northern Ireland.

She has edited, authored and published a number of books and articles, including: Transnational Political Islam (Pluto, 2004); Islamisms, Women and the State (Macmillan, 1998); Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers (IIDEA, 1998);  Islam in a non-pillarized Society (TNI: 1996); and Woman's Place: Religious Women as Public Actors (WCRP: 2001).  

You can read more about Azza Karam's work in two extended interviews: 

"The Rubicon is in Egypt," Social Science Research Council Immanent Frame (Spring 2011)

"Women and Development," Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs (Spring 2010)