NYU Abu Dhabi Welcomes 42 New Faculty

NYU Abu Dhabi has welcomed 42 new faculty and academic leaders coming from world class educational and professional institutions to continue their scholarship in the UAE and enrich the educational experience for our students.

The faculty recruitment for fall 2021 at NYUAD attracted a highly accomplished and diverse group of scholars coming from 17 different countries, including Venice Biennale Artists, Pulitzer Prize Winners, and scholars at the pinnacle of their fields.   

The new hires include two dean appointments, bringing with them a breadth of administrative experience and academic scholarship as stalwarts in their respective fields. Awam Ampka will serve as the Dean of Arts and Humanities. As a professor of drama, social and cultural analysis, he is a highly acclaimed, globally recognized scholar, having directed several film documentaries and curated an array of photographic exhibitions and film festivals around the world. His research focuses on representations in Africa and its diasporas, Black Atlantic films, and postcolonial theater.

As the newly appointed Dean of Social Science, Paula England brings with her a breath of academic leadership experience and a distinguished expertise in gender equality research. The Silver Professor and Professor of Sociology previously served as the Chair for the Sociology Department at NYU NY. She has written extensively on occupational segregation, changing family patterns, and wage penalty for motherhood among other topics. She was the president of the American Sociological Association, the editor of the American Sociological Review.

The new faculty hires arrive at NYUAD to focus their research and teaching on a range of important subjects in almost every academic field. The new members of the community previously served in 17 different countries having held positions in some of the world’s most ambitious institutions.  

Researching a range of topics from pearl diving music and developing forensic interviews with children to better understanding what had taken place in the early Universe soon after the Big Bang, the scholars have come to NYUAD to teach and research a wide array of subjects. 

Detailed information about the faculty can be found here


  • Awam Amkpa, Dean of Arts and Humanities; Professor of Drama, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYUNY
  • Paula England, Dean of Social Science; Silver Professor; Professor of Sociology, NYUNY

Arts and Humanities

  • Manthia Diawara, University Professor; Professor of Comparative Literature - PhD in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, USA
  • Mikhail Xifaras, Clinical Professor of Legal Studies - PhD in Philosophy, University of Franche-Comté, France
  • Daniel Fogal, Assistant Professor - PhD in Philosophy, NYU, USA
  • Gregory Pardlo, Visiting Associate Professor, Literature and Creative Writing -MFA in Nonfiction, Columbia University, USA
  • Nathalie Handal, Visiting Associate Professor of Practice in Literature & Creative Writing - MFA in Creative Writing, Bennington College, USA
  • Terri Geis, Visiting Associate Arts Professor, Art and Art History - PhD in Philosophy, Art History and Theory, University of Essex, UK
  • Aude Epstein, Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Studies - PhD in Law, University of Nice, France
  • Daungyewa Utarasint, Visiting Assistant Professor - PhD in Political and Social Change, The Australian National University, Australia
  • Ghazi Al-Mulaifi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music - PhD in Music, NYU, USA
  • Madeleine Wolf, Visiting Assistant Professor of French Studies -PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard
  • Michael Allison, Visiting Assistant Arts Professor of Interactive Media - MPS Interactive Telecommunications, NYU, USA
  • Oren Hanner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy - PhD in Buddhist Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • Salila Kulshreshtha,Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Art and Art History - PhD in History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  • Shaikha Al Mazrou, Visiting Assistant Arts Professor of Visual Arts - MA in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Fine Art, University of the Arts London, United Kingdom
  • Suphan Kirmizialtin, Visiting Assistant Professor - PhD in History, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Tina Sherwell, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History - PhD in Communication and Image Studies, University of Kent, UK
  • Emily Cole, Visiting Lecturer of Writing - PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California, USA
  • Amy Beth Karoll, Visiting Lecturer of Writing - PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), University of California, Los Angeles, USA


  • Marwa Chafii, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering - PhD in wireless communications, CentraleSupélec, France
  • Nikolaos Karathanasopoulos, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering - PhD in Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Khulood Alawadi, Lecturer of Engineering Design - MS in Innovation Design Engineering, Imperial College London, UK


  • Jon Ryan Sprouse, Professor of Psychology - PhD in Linguistics, University of Maryland-College Park, USA
  • Elena Beretta, Clinical Professor of Mathematics - MS Mathematics, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
  • Pekka Olavi Santtila, Professor of Psychology - PhD in Psychology, Abo Akademi University, Finland
  • Terry Harrison, Silver Professor; Professor of Anthropology - PhD in Anthropology, University of London, UK
  • Azzam Mourad, Visiting Professor of Computer Science - PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Concordia University, Canada
  • Miklós Ruszinkó, Visiting Professor of Mathematics - PhD in Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
  • Spiros Pergantis, Visiting Professor of Chemistry - PhD in Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Yuefan Deng, Visiting Professor of Mathematics - PhD in Theoretical Physics, Columbia University, USA
  • Piero Nicolini, Visiting Associate Professor of Physics - PhD in Theoretical Physics, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Dania Zantout, Lecturer of Mathematics - PhD in Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, USA
  • Moumena Chaqfeh, Lecturer of Computer Science - PhD in Track of Network Engineering, College of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University, UAE

Social Science

  • Pauline Rutsaert, Associate Professor of Practice of Economics - PhD in Economics, Cornell University, USA
  • Kristin Surak, Visiting Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy - PhD in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Korhan Kocak, Assistant Professor of Political Science - PhD in Politics, Princeton University, USA
  • Ayesha Masood, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy - PhD Information Science, Cornell University
  • Rana Almutawa, Assistant Professor/ Emerging Scholar of Social Research and Public Policy - PhD in Oriental Studies (Middle Eastern Studies), University of Oxford, UK
  • Muhammad Azfar Nisar, Visiting Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy - PhD in Public Administration and Policy, Arizona State University, USA
  • Peter Thurlow, Visiting Associate Professor of Practice in Economics - PhD in Economics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Tetyana Surovtseva, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics - PhD in Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain