Dr. Radwan Ziadeh – Executive Director
“Ziadeh is not so much a person as an institution,” The Washington Post, September 2, 2011.
Ziadeh is a senior analyst at the Arab Center – Washington D.C. Also he is the founder and director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Syria (www.dchrs.org) and co-founder and executive director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C (www.scpss.org).
He is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington D.C.
He was the managing editor of the Transitional Justice Project in the Arab World, and the Head of the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice, which was established on November 14, 2013 by the Syrian Interim Government. The Commission tasked to work on the transitional justice file, including investigating crimes, considering means for prosecution, and building a national reconciliation program, among other items.
Since the Syrian uprising started in March 15, 2011 he was involved in documenting the ongoing human rights violations in Syria and testified at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva twice and in front of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S Congress.
He was also involved in the Syrian political opposition. He was elected in October 2011 as director of the Foreign Relations Office of the Syrian National Council until he resigned from the position in November 2012.
In late 2012 he established Syria Experts House (http://syrianexperthouse.org ) which is a combined group of approximately 300 human rights activists, academics, judges, lawyers, opposition leaders and diplomats all committed to holding a periodic meetings to build a final vision of the transitional period and produce considered, deliberate recommendations for Syria`s political future. And at the end of 2013 the Syria Experts House developed the Syria Transition Roadmap (http://syrianexperthouse.org/archives/775) which considered as the most comprehensive vision for the democratic future of Syria which endorsed by the Syrian opposition, the Friends of Syria coalition, and the U.N
Then he decided to devote his time and energy on building vibrant and strong civil society in Syria after the prolong armed conflict, he founded the Ghiath Matar foundation (http://ghiathmattarfoundation.org ) to honor the Syrian activist Ghiath Matar who became after his death under torture by the Syrian government in Sep 2011 a symbol of peaceful resistance in the Syrian Revolution.
Then as part of his work and vision on transitional justice in Syria he founded the Association for the defense of the rights of the victims of the Syrian Revolution (http://advrsyria.org/en ) which its primary goad is to fight for justice and accountability in Syria.
In 2013 and after the increasing of the humanitarian crisis in Syria in helped establishing the Syria Relief Network which considered as the largest network of Syrian NGOs working on Humanitarian crisis in Syria.
He holds a D.D.S in Dentistry from Damascus University, Diploma in international Human Rights Law from College of Law at the American University in Washington D.C, MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University in Washington D.C, and MS in Finance from Kogod School of Business at the American University in Washington D.C
He was a Visiting Fellow and Scholar at many prestige universities and think tanks in the U.S and around the world, like Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) in the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University(2011-2012), Prins Global Fellow at Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University(2010–2011), the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University, the International relation department at Lehigh University(2012-2013), Reagan–Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington D,C (2009), the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York City(2009–2010) , Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London (, Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University (2008–2009). In 2007–2008 he was a Senior Fellow at United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C.
Ziadeh was also editor-in-chief of Tyarat magazine in 2001–2002 and secretary of the Syrian Organization for Transparency. He was a researcher with the UNDP’s “Syria 2025” project and was named best political scientist researcher in the Arab world by Jordan’s Abdulhameed Shoman Foundation in 2004. In 2009 he was awarded the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Academic Freedom award in Boston; and in 2010 he accepted the Democracy Courage Tributes award on behalf of the human rights movement in Syria, given by the World Movement for Democracy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ziadeh was one of the major players in the “Damascus Spring,” a period of intense debate about politics, social issues, and calls for reform in Syria after the death of President Hafez al-Asad in 2000.
He is on the board of directors for the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) in Washington, D.C., Senior adviser for the Institute of Islamic Strategic and Socio Political Affairs in London (IISA), and a member of the Advisory Group for the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Islamic World Initiative at USIP for “Reform and Security in the Muslim World” program, a member of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the American Political Science Association (APSA), The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the International Studies Association (ISA), Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), Syrian Studies Association (SSA), Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS); CFA Society of Washington D.C, U.S Parachute Association (USPA); Amenity International .
He wrote more than twenty books in English and Arabic, his most recent book is Syria’s Role in a Changing Middle East: The Syrian-Israeli Peace Talks (2016) from I.B.Tauris.
His books include: Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East (London: I.B.Tauris, 2011); The Kurds in Syria: Fuelling Separatist Movements in the Region? (Washington D.C: United States Institute of Peace, 2009); A Multifaceted Response to Syria’s Brutality (Washington D.C: Project on Middle East Democracy, 2011); Towards a Peaceful Democratic Transition in Syria (Washington D.C: Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), 2012);
Islam, Modernity and Arab Spring: A conversation with Francis Fukuyama (2015); The Democratic Change in the Arab World (2014); the Power and Intelligence in Syria (2013); The Clash of Values Between Islam and the West, with Kevin James O’Toole (2010), Political Islam in Syria (2008), Decision Making and Foreign Policy in Syria (2007), The Challenges of Reform in The Arab World: Islam, Identity, Modernity and Globalization (2006), The Intellectual Confronts Power: Dialogues of Syrian Civil Society (2005), and The Near Peace: The Syrian–Israeli Negotiations (2005), The Ideology of Renaissance in Contemporary Arab Discourse (2004), The Question of Renewal in Contemporary Islamic Discourse (2004), Modernism and Post-Modernism in Western Philosophy (2003), and Human Rights in the Arab World (2000).
He has edited five books: The Democratic Transition between Spain and Syria, with George Irani (2009), The Struggle for Reform in Syria (2006), Reform in Syria: Between Domestic and International Politics (2004), Towards Civil Society in Syria (2004), and Islam and Political Thought: Democracy and The West (2000).
Ziadeh has published studies, research projects, and policy papers for many international institutions including United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), Freedom House and Global Integrity both in Washington D.C, The Global Leadership Project at the Clinton Global Initiative. He has published articles in magazines in Arabic, English, Spanish and French.
He has lectured at Harvard University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, Rutgers University, Cornell University, George Washington University, New York University, UCLA, UC–Davis, Roger Williams University, Kennesaw State University, Tufts University, Oxford University, St. Andrews University, National Academy of the Sciences, King’s College–University of London, Edinburgh University, University of Colorado, Savannah Council on World Affairs, University of Ljubljana-Slovenia, Jagiellonian University in Poland, Lund University –Sweden, Gutenberg University-Mainz-Germany, University of Amsterdam, LUISS University in Italy , Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)-Barcelona, National University-Rosario-Argentina, International Christian University in Tokyo, Cairo University, American University of Beirut, Al-Baat University in Amman, University of Jordan, and Damascus University.
His op-ed appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic and New Yorker; and he is a frequent political commentator on several U.S., European, and Middle Eastern media outlets such as BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, and Al-Hurra. He also writes a bi-monthly op-ed for the leading Arab daily, Al-Hayat.
He speaks Arabic (Native), English; he understands French, Spanish, German and Turkish.