Bessma Momani

2018 to 2020
Current affiliation:
Full Professor, Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, and Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation

Professor Bessma Momani is an expert on global economic governance issues, Canadian foreign policy, Arab Spring, Arab Canadians and Arab youth.

Professor Momani works on issues of global economic governance and specializes in the political economy of the Middle East. She has extensive expertise in the fields of Canadian foreign policy, Arab Spring and organizational culture. More recently, Dr. Momani has turned her attention to studying Arab Canadians and Arab youth.

Project as 2015-2018 Fellow

Arab Canadian Youth: Pursuing Responsible Citizenship to Counter Disempowerment & Disengagement

Project objectives

To better understand and document the experiences, stories, and practices of Arab-Canadian youth as regards involvement of the diaspora in transnationalism, political debates, and conflicts concerning their countries of origin, as well as their sense of belonging to and their social integration in Canada. This objective will be accomplished through workshops, focus groups, interviews, and surveys in seven cities across Canada. The project will also examine feelings of cohesion and division in Arab-Canadian communities, with a special emphasis on their transnational ties with their Arab countries of origin and their potential direct and indirect involvement in intraregional conflicts and civil wars. Learn more.

Bessma Momani is a full professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation. A Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow from 2015 to 2018, Professor Momani has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, a Canada-US Fulbright scholar, as well as a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center and at the Amman Institute in Jordan.

She has authored and co-edited over eight books and over 60 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters that have examined the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, petrodollars, regional trade agreements in the Middle East, and economic liberalization throughout the Arab Gulf and Middle East. Bessma has received a number of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awards and prizes for her research on global economic governance and the political economy of the Middle East.

She regularly contributes to national and international media on the Middle East and global economic governance issues and has written editorials for the New York Times, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, and numerous other publications. She received her Doctorate from the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.


  • January 30, 2018
  • November 13, 2017
    On 12 November 2017, Montréal’s largest daily, La Presse+, published Part I of a special dossier on the Foundation, tagging it as a cross between an innovative community, a vital meeting place, and an unique network.
  • December 15, 2016
    The last consultation of the Pluralism Project’s cross-country tour, led by 2015 Trudeau Fellow Bessma Momani of the University of Waterloo and 2015 Trudeau Mentor Jillian Stirk of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, took place on 14 December, in Montréal.
  • December 14, 2016
    Canada has implicitly and explicitly embraced diversity as one of the foundational characteristics of what makes us a country. However, some institutions like the Canadian Armed Forces do not reflect the demographic makeup of Canada. The aim of the workshop taking place in Waterloo on 12-13 April 2017 is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of academics, policy practitioners, and Canadian Armed Forces personnel to present research and insights on this issue. 2016 Trudeau fellow Bessma Momani will be part of the workshop.
  • August 8, 2016
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is happy to announce that it has approved its second round of targeted-area-of-inquiry (TAI) projects. The three projects include an exploration of Indigenous law, a social innovation lab addressing food waste, and a dialogue on the inclusion of Muslim-Canadian youth.
  • June 24, 2016
    How to attract diversity beyond larger Canadian urban centres? How can social diversity be harnessed for greater economic advantage? And is Canada making the most of social diversity in its cities and towns?