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William Lawrence

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, American University School of International Service

William Lawrence is a professor of political science and international affairs at American University’s School of International Service. He has served as a senior diplomat at the U.S. embassies in Morocco and Libya. He lived and worked for 7 years in Morocco and Libya and has travelled dozens of times to both when not living there. He also served as International Crisis Group’s North Africa director and as Control Risks’ North Africa Director. He was previously a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco and is currently working with current and former Peace Corps Volunteers to raise funds for earthquake relief. In Peace Corps, he served two years in a small Atlas Mountain town and one year teaching at a university in Marrakech. He previously taught at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Tufts, and two Moroccan universities (the one in Marrakech and one in Rabat). He co-authored After the Uprisings: Political Transition in Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, and has published analysis on Morocco and Libya in Foreign Policy and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Middle East Institute, Oxford University, and Afropop Worldwide. His research focuses on global challenges, youth protest, informal economy, Islamic law and social change, U.S. policy towards Muslim communities, and political and popular culture. He also co-produced six MENA-related films and fourteen albums of North African music, mostly in Morocco and Libya or featuring Moroccans and Libyans.


  • –present
    Professor of Political Science and International Affairs , American University