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Ali Reza Eshraghi, Ph.D. is Projects Director for the Middle East and North Africa division of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Carolina’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies. He has more than two decades of multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary experience in designing and leading dozens of local and international development initiatives advocating for peace, promoting gender equality, strengthening local communities and civic participation, promoting government accountability, fostering independent media, and amplifying local voices.


Dr. Eshraghi has worked with hundreds of grassroots and civil society organizations across four continents, spanning countries such as Myanmar, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenia, Colombia, and Mexico. He has conceptualized and launched several innovative remote and in-person learning and collaboration programs to help civic sectors grow their organizational and operational capacity, knowledge and skills; and effectively engage in public leadership and policymaking process.


Dr. Eshraghi is a widely published author. His articles and essays have appeared in various international media such as The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera, and CNN as well as Persian and Arabic media. He served in senior managing and editorial positions for some of the most progressive publications during Iran’s Reform Era (1997-2003). Eshraghi is an alumnus of the Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Formerly, he was a visiting scholar at the Institute of International Studies (IIS) and a research fellow at the Religion, Politics and Globalization Program at UC Berkeley.


As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Eshraghi’s research interests are situated at the intersection of political communication, social movements, religious studies and media. His current work focuses on how the rhetorical enactment of citizenship is crafted; how the codes and conditions for political persuasion, arguing for change, and expressing dissent and disagreement are defined and contested over time, and what opportunities rhetoric—as continuously evolving set of practices and criteria of judgment—provide for politicking. Currently, he is preparing his monograph, Phantoms of Debate: Politics and Rhetorics of Dissent and Disagreement in the [Islamic] Republic for publication.


As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Eshraghi ‘s research interests are situated at the intersection of political rhetoric, social movements, religious studies and media. His current work focuses on public debate and discursive performances of dissent and disagreement in the MENA region.