PROFILE: JULIA GANSON


Ph.D., Columbia University, 1991
Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa, Executive Education Office at the Maxwell School


I joined the Executive Education Office in this newly created position in August 2008. My job includes providing support for Middle Eastern Studies by helping to coordinate grant writing and by facilitating the program’s growth and expansion. I also manage two grant-supported programs. First, I coordinate the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) program that brings twenty-five professionals from the Middle East and North Africa region each spring. They come to SU to learn about American democracy and its practical lessons for political development in their home region. I also work on a related program called CELF that will begin for the first time in August 2009. It will host social scientists from universities in the region for a semester-long residence at Maxwell to work on curriculum development and improved pedagogy.

My own career background covers a range of experiences in academia and in governmental and non-gov- ernmental organizations (NGOs). As a sociologist, my research interests focused on the sociology of child- hood, the American kinship system and family, and symbolic interaction theory. I was a faculty member at Franklin & Marshall College and at SUNY Cortland before immigrating to New Zealand where I lived and worked for a decade. My professional work there focused on educational evaluation. I was employed by the national government’s Education Review Office to evaluate school operations and assess learning in classrooms. Returning to the U.S., I have engaged in program evaluation and management at several NGOs, grant writing with community organizations, university lecturing, and institutional research and assessment in higher education.