Dr Bassma Kodmani

Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative

  • Dr Bassma Kodmani is a co-founder of the Arab Reform Initiative, where she has been the Executive Director since 2005. She is also Associate Professor of International Relations at Paris University (currently on leave).

    Dr Kodmani has served as senior adviser on international cooperation at the French National Research Council (2007–09), Associate Senior Research Fellow at CERI-Sciences Po (2006–07), adviser to the director of the Académie Diplomatique Internationale (2007–2009), and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Collège de France (2005–06). From 1998 to 2005, she was head of the Governance and International Cooperation program at the Ford Foundation office for the Middle East and North Africa (Cairo). From 1981 to 1998, she established and directed the Middle East Program at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI, Paris).

    In 2011–2012, she took temporary leave from the Arab Reform Initiative to take on a mission as Head of Foreign Relations and spokesperson with the Syrian National Council, the opposition coalition seeking democratic change in Syria. She also is the co-founder and treasurer of the Initiative for a New Syria, an NGO based in Paris specialized in relief work and support for civil society in Syria.

    She holds a PhD in Political Science from Sciences Po (Paris). She has authored numerous books, reports, and articles; her book on the Palestinian Diaspora (in French) was awarded the prize of Association France-Palestine in 1998.

    Bassma is a member of the advisory boards of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Center, and International IDEA (Sweden).
    She was awarded the Légion d’Honneur of France as Chevalier in 2012, and the Raymond Georis Prize for Innovative Philanthropy in 2011 for her role in developing the Arab Reform Initiative and promoting democracy in the context of the Arab Spring.