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Chair, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy, UMass Amherst

Prof. David Mednicoff (J.D./Ph.D., Harvard) chairs the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and also teaches in the School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts -- Amherst. His areas of expertise include Middle Eastern law and politics, international law, human rights, globalization, comparative law and politics, US foreign policy, and comparative public policy.

Prof. Mednicoff's publications and ongoing research deal broadly with interdisciplinary connections between legal and political ideas and institutions at the national and transnational levels, particularly as these relate to current policy issues in the Middle East. He is currently completing two book manuscripts on the politics of the rule of law, democratization and US foreign policy in five Arab societies. He also has written on Arab constitutional politics and Islam before and after the events of 2011, the legal regulation of migrant workers in the Arab Gulf, human rights in the Middle East and humanitarian intervention. He has presented his work at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the US Department of State, the Saudi Arabia Institute of Diplomatic Studies, and Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford and Yale Universities, among other places.

Prof. Mednicoff's teaching honors include a university-wide Lilly Teaching Fellowship for promising junior faculty, the U. Mass. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, and a national prize for innovative teaching related to the US after 9/11/01. Prof. Mednicoff was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in law in Qatar in 2006-7, where he taught legal and political philosophy at Qatar University. He was a Research Fellow in 2010-11 in the Dubai Initiative at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He held a Fellowship at the ZIF (Institute for Advanced Study) in Bielefeld, Germany in 2014 and 2015 as a member of a research group on Religion and Human Rights in Constitution-Writing. He writes and comments frequently for the media.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Public Policy Director, Accelerated Degree Programs, Center for Public Policy and Adminstration Director, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst