El-Shazli Bio 2015

Biography in brief:

Heba F. El-Shazli has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Government and International Affairs (GIA), the Planning, Governance & Globalization (PG&G) program, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Recipient of the 2014 Richard E. Zody Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) – Governance and Globalization (GG) track.

She serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at Georgetown University’s Master’s Degree Program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society where she teaches a course on the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. Heba is also Faculty (full-time) at George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs Department (SPGIA).   She teaches the following courses: International Relations Theory, Political Islam and Politics, Government and Society of the Middle East (graduate and undergraduate levels).

Extended Bio:

An Egyptian-born, naturalized American citizen, El-Shazli was educated in Egypt, England and the United States. Her work with trade unions, political institutions, political parties and NGOs has taken her to Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, Iran, South America, Western Europe, the United States, and to the Middle East and North Africa. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations ( Fluent in three languages (Arabic, French and English), married and the mother of four, El-Shazli holds a Masters of Arts degree in International Relations from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

El-Shazli has 28 years experience in civic and union organizing, institution building, leadership skills training, labor education and training methodologies, political advocacy, and development, implementation and management of international programs.

At Virginia Tech, she taught for one academic year, Politics of the Middle East as a senior seminar. She was a visiting professor at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) teaching Politics and International Relations of the Middle East in the Political Science and International Studies department and Egyptian-Arabic language in the Modern Languages department (2010-2011 academic year). She was the Regional Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programs at the Solidarity Center (SC), AFL-CIO ( from September 2004 until June 2011. She managed a staff of 25 persons; staff based in Washington, DC and in five field offices in the MENA region (Morocco, Algeria, Palestine, Qatar and Lebanon). The Solidarity Center is a non-profit organization that assists workers around the world who are struggling to build democratic and independent trade unions. SC works with unions and community groups worldwide to achieve equitable, sustainable, democratic development and to help men and women everywhere stand up for their rights and improves their living and working standards.

El-Shazli was the Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 2001 until 2004. During her tenure at NDI, she served as NDI’s Resident Representative in Beirut, where she implemented programs to help develop and empower civil society organizations in Lebanon and in the region.

Before joining NDI, El-Shazli worked at the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (The Solidarity Center), the international institute of the American labor movement, the AFL-CIO. From 1994 to 2000, she was the Solidarity Center’s regional representative in the Middle East and North Africa, based in Cairo, Egypt. She managed programs in eight Arab countries. She previously served as the Free Trade Union Institute’s (FTUI) Senior Program Officer for Central and Eastern Europe from 1987 to 1994, during which time she developed and implemented educational, training and financial assistance programs for trade unions in the region. During her tenure with FTUI, El-Shazli responded to regional needs with programs addressing worker rights, gender empowerment, communications, training of trainers (TOT), vocational training, and leadership skills training.