Lisa Anderson

Former President of The American University in Cairo

Lisa Anderson served as the president of The American University in Cairo (AUC) during one of the most challenging political times in Egypt, from 2011 to 2016. A specialist on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, Anderson also served as AUC's provost from 2008 to 2010.

Prior to joining AUC in 2008, Anderson served as the James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations at Columbia University and is the former dean of the university's School of International and Public Affairs. She also served as the chair of Columbia's political science department and as the director of the school's Middle East Institute. Before joining Columbia, she was assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard University.

Dr. Anderson's research has included work on state formation in the Middle East and North Africa; on regime change and democratization in developing countries; and on social science, academic research and public policy both in the United States and around the world. Anderson is the author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (Columbia University Press, 2003), The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (Princeton University Press, 1986), editor of Transitions to Democracy (Columbia University Press, 1999) and coeditor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism (Columbia 1991).

Dr. Anderson served on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch from 1988-2003; as the President of the Middle East Studies Association in 2003 and on the Council of the American Political Science Association from 2004-2006. She also served on the Board of Trustees of The American University in Cairo (2006-2008) and as Chair of the Board of the Social Science Research Council (1998-2008). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Anderson holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She earned a PhD in political science from Columbia University, where she also received a certificate from the Middle East Institute. Dr. Anderson received honorary doctorates from Monmouth University in 2002 and The American University of Paris in 2015.