Elliott School Interim Dean Announced

Ilana Feldman will lead the school during the search to replace Dean Reuben Brigety II.

May 8, 2020

Ilana Feldman

George Washington University Provost Brian Blake announced Monday that Ilana Feldman, vice dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and professor of anthropology, history and international affairs, will be the interim dean of the Elliott School.

“Dr. Feldman brings to the interim dean role more than a decade of teaching and administrative experience at GW, most recently as vice dean at Elliott,” said Dr. Blake.  “As an expert in her field with close working relationships with faculty, students and staff, she is an excellent choice to serve in this role. We are excited and pleased that she will lead Elliott during this challenging time.”

She joined GW in 2007 as an assistant professor of anthropology and international affairs to support the launch the Institute for Middle East Studies at the Elliott School. At the departmental level, she was involved in creating the Ph.D. program in anthropology and served as the director of graduate studies.

Dr. Feldman has conducted extensive cultural and historical research on the more than 70 years of Palestinian displacement. She has written numerous books and articles and been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships for her “meticulous research” exploring the condition of Palestinians in the Middle East, examining governance, humanitarian assistance and citizenship. It is a course of study she said she first encountered more than 25 years ago as an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University, a time that coincided with the Intifada—the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan.

In her year as an Elliott School vice dean, she said, “I tried to use the skills, the commitments, that I have as a member of the faculty to scholarly inquiry, to fostering critical conversations and to developing news forms of collaboration.”

“These are all things that you bring to bear in the administration of the school as well,” she said.

Elliott School Dean Reuben Brigety II announced that he was stepping down in February to become the chancellor and president of the University of the South, Sewanee. 

Dr. Feldman remains committed to continuing to understand, learn and contribute to both scholarly and public conversations about the Palestinian condition.