MESA Banner
Rita Stephan
North Carolina State University
Rita Stephan is a research fellow at The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University and the Regional Coordinator for Religious and Ethnic Minorities at the United States Agency of International Development. Her career in the U.S. Department of State included serving as the Director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the Deputy Director of Data Analytics, and Senior Analyst on Syria and Lebanon. She was previously a survey statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau, a visiting researcher at Georgetown University and a lecturer of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, a B.A. in International Affairs and Jewish Studies and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. She is the co-editor of Women Rising: In and Beyond the Arab Spring and Beyond (New York University Press, 2020), In Line with the Divine: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Lebanon (Warwick, RI: Abelian Academic 2015) and numerous publications on the women’s movements in the Middle East and the Middle Eastern community in the census.
Sub Areas
Gender/Women's Studies
Ethnic American Studies
Geographic Areas of Interest
North America
Arab States
Civil Society
Arabic (native)
French (fluent)
Hebrew (elementary)
Italian (elementary)
Spanish (elementary)
PhD | 2009 | Sociology | University of Texas
MA | 1998 | Intl Stds | Amer U
BA | 1996 | International Studies | American University
BA | 1996 | Jewish Studies | American University
Activism for Women's Rights in Lebanon Modern Framing of Gender Activism in Lebanon Social and Economic Characteristics of the Arab American Population Fighting on Three Fronts: Syrian Women' Struggle for Rights Arab Americans as Hard-to-Reach and Hard-to-Count Population Linking the Cedar Revolution and the Arab Spring Arab Women's Social Revolution How and Why Women Mobilize Rita Stephan, USAID Real Men Don’t Wear Masks Resisting Tokenism: Arab American Political Activism