Our Team 

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Al-Hamdani is a Media Commentator, and Yemen Analyst featured on international networks such as CNN, BBC, France 24, Aljazeera, amongst others. She is a Subject Matter Expert on Yemen who lectured at think tanks, universities, and governmental institutions. Born in Yemen, Al-Hamdani is concerned with reclaiming the unique heritage and various arts of Arabia Felix. Al-Hamdani a graduate of the George Washington University with a an honors degree in Religion and a double minor in Women’s Studies and Peace Studies.

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Dr. Khoury is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2013 with the rank of Minister Counselor. During his last overseas posting, Khoury served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen from 2004 to 2007. He previously taught at the National Defense University, Northwestern University, College of Saint Rose and the University of Jordan. During the Iraq war, Khoury served as the State Department's spokesperson at the US Central Command in Doha and Baghdad. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York in Albany.

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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.

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Mac Skelton is a non-resident Research Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS), a policy and research center based at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani. Concurrently, he is completing a Ph.D. in Anthropology at The Johns Hopkins University. Skelton has published for The Lancet medical journal and is a contributor to Brown University's Costs of War project. Before joining IRIS, he was Senior Fellow at the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU). In 2010,  Skelton administered a DAAD-funded exchange program in Yemen between German and Yemeni universities and remained involved in Yemen affairs. He holds an MA in Anthropology from the American University of Beirut.

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Marjorie Ransom is a former US diplomat who served twice in Yemen, first in 1966 and then in 1975. During her time as a diplomat in several Arab countries, she collected Middle Eastern silver jewelry, textiles, and costumes. From 2004-2009, with support from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS), she researched Yemen and then wrote the book, Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Yemeni Regional Jewelry. In 2002 she co-curated the exhibit, "Silver Speaks: Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East."  After several showings, she donated the exhibition to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Ms. Ransom received her BA from Trinity University in Washington, DC and her Master's degree in History and a Certificate in Middle East Studies from Columbia. She is currently working on a second volume on Yemeni Silversmiths.

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Research Intern

Audrey Bolus is a graduate of the University of Alabama; she holds a double degree in International Relations, concentrating in the Middle East, and French Language & Literature, as well as a minor in the Arabic language. She has previously interned for the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Currently, Bolus works with the Lebanese Embassy in Washington, DC to develop student networks. In 2019, she will pursue a Master’s degree in Global Communication from George Washington University.