Salwa Mikdadi specializes in the history of modern and contemporary art of the Arab world. Prior to joining the NYUAD, Mikdadi worked at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority where she established the professional development program for museum professionals including a customized executive program (2012 - 2014) and was a lecturer at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in the postgraduate program - History of Art and Museum Studies (2010-May 2014). Mikdadi was the Executive Director of the Arts and Culture Program at the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi (2009-2012).
She wrote the reference guide on the history of the twentieth-century art of West Asia, North Africa and Egypt for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline web pages and is the editor and co-editors of several publications on the subject. She conducted research in Jordan, the West Bank, UAE, Syria, and Lebanon on the governance and management of museums and art institutions. Mikdadi curated several exhibitions including the first Palestinian collateral exhibition at the Venice Biennial in 2009. She was the co-founder and director of the Cultural & Visual Arts Resource/ICWA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study and exhibit of the art of the Arab world in the United States (1988-2006). Mikdadi is a founding board member of the Association of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab world, Iran and Turkey.