Nominees for Graduate Section Co-Presidents (2024-2027)

Fatima Dhanani

Fatima Dhanani 

I am a PhD candidate at SOAS University of London researching at legal pluralism, governance and civil society in Lebanon, situating it in decolonial and pluriverse theories. My research interests are in Muslim cultures and societies, Islamic law, legal pluralism, pluralism, ‘post’-colonial theories, governance, civil society organisations and the rule of law, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Professionally, I am a specialist in strategic communications and stakeholder engagement for higher education institutions. I currently serve as the Co-Editor in Chief of the SOAS Journal for Post-Graduate Research at SOAS and I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Legal Systems of Asia and Africa. I am also involved in a research project with the University of Calgary in Canada looking at pluralism and its impact on Indigenous communities, particularly in higher education.

Through my diverse experiences over the last 10 years, I have managed large academic conferences, workshops and research seminars in the UK and around the world. I have led teams of up to 35 people and also have extensive experience collaborating as a team which is working towards fulfilling a mission.

I have previously served as a Board Member for a non-profit organisation where I was responsible for developing academic and pedagogical training programmes on Muslim societies and civilisations for diverse audiences in multiple languages. I am goal orientated and I can create strategic plans to identify long and short-term targets for an organisation and work toward achieving them. I understand compliance processes, and the importance of serving on additional committees and taskforces in order to further the mandate of organisations.

Reasons for Nomination 

I would like to serve on BRISMES as one of the Graduate Section’s Co-Presidents as I believe in the work and mandate of the Society. BRISMES has given me so much as a student and continues to do so and I would like to support its work and raise the voices of other graduate students in their journey as bourgeoning young academics. I have experience in leading large projects and would be able to use this experience to contribute to the strategic direction of the society and represent the promote the interests of the Society to my networks and contacts who may benefit from the work of BRISMES. 

I believe my experience in communications, governance, strategic planning and managing academic conferences will be valuable addition to BRISMES. I have leadership skills, managerial experience, the ability to plan conferences, work across stakeholders and create relevant and robust communications strategies that I will be able to use in this role. 

My fieldwork in Lebanon reiterated to me the importance of civil society groups like BRISMES and the positive impact that they can have on their members and the wider community. Moreover, in the current climate, organisations like BRISMES are acutely important for promoting the work, people and ideas from the region. I would like to be part of this impact and support BRISMES to fulfil its mission, particularly by promoting its graduate students, and the BRISMES Board.

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