Our Team 



Sama'a Al-Hamdani is the Founder and Executive Director of the Yemen Cultural Institute. She is an emerging art curator who is concerned with reclaiming Yemen’s unique arts and heritage. In August 2019, she took part in a pilot program by the Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship that focused upon the 'Arts as a Tool for Peacebuilding.' Currently, she is a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute (MEI) focusing on political dynamics in Yemen. Before joining MEI, she was a visiting fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University focusing on Transitional Justice and a fellow at the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS) focusing on Yemen. She has been published both in Arab and Western media and think tanks, including Al-Monitor, the Lawfare blog, Brookings, the National (UAE), MENAsource (Atlantic Council Blog), Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Fikra Forum, The Middle East Institute Journal, Yemen Observer, and Yemen Times, among others.

Alex Nagel website .jpg


Dr. Nagel is a cultural heritage scholar who received his Ph.D. from the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Initially, from Berlin, Germany, he worked at The Archaeological Fieldwork Projects in Germany, Greece, and Iran. He is currently a Research Associate affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution since 2009 and has extensive experience in curating exhibitions.



Dr. J. Mac Skelton is the Director at The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) located at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. He is an anthropologist and Middle East analyst with field research and programmatic experience in Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. While at IRIS he has overseen research projects on conflict and stabilization funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), among others. Skelton is a member of the Costs of War Project at Brown University. He holds an MA in Anthropology from the American University of Beirut and a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University.