Associate Professor Heba El-Shazli

Academic Visitor

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government since 2014. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on International Relations Theory; Civil Society and Social Movements; Politics, Governments and Society of the Middle East and North Africa; Israeli-Palestinian Politics; and Islam and Politics. Awarded the 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award and the 2022 Dean’s Service Award.

El-Shazli is an affiliate faculty to the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies (AVACGIS) at George Mason University. She is also an Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University’s Master’s Degree Program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society. At Virginia Tech, she taught for one academic year, Politics of the Middle East as an upper-class 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 & Fall 2011). 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 based in Washington, DC and in five field offices in the MENA region (Morocco, Algeria, Palestine, Qatar and Lebanon). 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 AFLCIO. 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 and leadership skills training. El-Shazli has 28 years of 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. 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), El-Shazli holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance and Globalization (PGG) with a specialization in Governance and International Affairs, from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), Blacksburg, VA, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Recent publications: a chapter, “The Egyptian Left and WorkingClass Politics”, for a book titled: Contemporary Egyptian Thought published in Turkey (2019); and a book titled: Trade Unions and Arab Revolutions – Challenging the Regime in Egypt,  published by Routledge, 2019.