The UCLA Center for Middle East Development hosted the event, "CMED Chats, Episode 4," on August 25, 2021. Watch or listen to the fourth edition of the series, hosted by CMED Deputy Director, Ms. Mani A. Jad, with guest, founder and former director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, by clicking on the podcast or video above.
CMED Chats is a unique new monthly series that will engage charismatic guests who are from the Middle East and North Africa or connected to the region in some capacity. We plan to bring you diplomats, activists, journalists, analysts, policy makers, artists, musicians, and many more guests who can help us dig deeper into an often misunderstood, complex part of the world. Our hosts will sit down for one-on-one casual chats of at least 30 minutes, covering a variety of topics that will highlight the myriad voices and realities that enrich this colorful region.
GUEST — Dr. Haleh Esfandiari was the founder and director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is currently a Middle East Program and Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center. She is the author of “My Prison, My Home,” based on her arrest and imprisonment by the Iranian security authorities in 2007. In March 2017, the Wilson Center announced the launch of the Haleh Esfandiari Forum, an annual lecture on women’s empowerment in the MENA region. The inaugural lecture was given by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Among her awards are the Special American Red Cross Award and the Women’s Equality Award from the National Council of Women’s Organizations. She received an honorary degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
HOST — Ms. Mani A. Jad began her role in the International Institute in 2002, when she started working with Professor Spiegel as a conference coordinator in the Burkle Center for International Relations. In 2005, Professor Spiegel and Ms. Jad created the UCLA Center for Middle East Development. Over the years, Ms. Jad’s role in the Center evolved from conference coordinator to chief administrative and financial officer. Her responsibilities include: overseeing the different aspects of CMED's conferences, maintaining the Center’s budget, acting as the point of contact for donors and sponsors, liaising with the UCLA community, and stepping in for the director when he is not available. Ms. Mani Jad graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in psychology. She speaks fluent Arabic.
Picture Descriptions (Left to right): With President-Elect Barack Obama (Credit: Unknown); Haleh speaking in 2014 (Credit: SPF); Woodrow Wilson Center profile (Credit: Wilson Center); With Lilia Labidi (Credit: David Hawxhurst/Wilson Center); Vogue photoshoot in 2009 (Credit: Vogue); Haleh photo arms crossed (Credit: UNLV); Fatima Sbaity-Kassem, Haleh Esfandiari, Lilia Labidi, and Moushira Khattab (Credit: M. Patkar); With Senator Chris Van Hollen and Distinguished Fellow/President Emerita of the Wilson Center, Jane Harmen (Credit: Wilson Center); Interview in 2009 (Credit: Wilson Center).