Shaul M. Gabbay Ph.D

Executive Director

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After his military service as a Commander in the Israeli Defense Forces, Shaul Gabbay completed a BA at Bar Ilan University and an MA at Tel-Aviv University. In 1991 he received a Presidential Fellowship from the U.S. to continue his studies. In 1995 he completed the Ph.D. program at Columbia University in New York and received an invitation from the University of Chicago for a Post Doctoral program. In 1998 Professor Gabbay returned to Israel to join the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Professor Gabbay joined the University of Denver as the Director of the Institute for the Study of Israel in the Middle East at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2001- 2010.  He continued his research at DU as a Senior Scholar until 2015 when he was appointed Director of the Global Research Institute. Professor Gabbay is the co-founder of Israel Investment Advisors LLC in Denver Colorado. His areas of expertise include Middle East cultures and societal norms,  Middle East conflicts, and human rights issues existing in Muslim societies.  He is frequently cited and acts as a commentator in national and international media such as the Associated Press, CBS, NBC, FOX and MSNBC.


Ambassador Sam Zakhem, Ph.D

Research Associate

Former United States Ambassador to Bahrain, Dr. Zakhem continues research of Middle East issues and political trends in Arab countries.  A Lebanese native, Dr. Zahem’s contributions are vast.


Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science; University of Colorado, 1970

Post-Graduate Studies in Economics; Wayne State University, 1963

MBA; University of Detroit, 1960

BA Economics; American University of Cairo, Egypt, 1957

Graduate Fellow; National Center for Constitutional Studies, Washington, D.C.

Graduate Fellow; Freeman Institute, Salt Lake City, UT

Advisory Board; Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA

Ambassador Babiker Khalifa

Research Associate

Ambassador Babiker Khalifa has over 25 years of continuous diplomatic service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan. Recognized for detailed reports, policy papers,statements & thorough  research.

He was the resident Ambassador of Sudan to the Republic of Korea in Seoul (2002/2006)

He served as Consul General of Sudan to New York as well as Counsellor of the Mission of Sudan to the United Nations at the Third Committee of the General Assembly which deals with Social, Cultural & Humanitarian Affairs. He participated in six sessions of the U.N. General Assembly.

Ambassador Khalifa has ten years of college and university teaching experience in the USA and in Sudan . He taught at University of Denver , Metropolitan State College ,University off Colorado and University of Khartoum respectively courses on Human Rights & Development in Africa, African & African American History , Middle East Politics and Diplomacy & Art and Science of Negotiation.

Ambassador Khalifa also worked as a political senior officer with the United Nations Organization as Officer in Charge at the Peace Keeping Mission for Somalia , in both Mogadishu and Nairobi.

Ambassador Khalifa has a multidisciplinary  education in Economics ,Social Anthropology ,Government & Politics,International Relations & Politics, International Law & Diplomacy.Human Rights, African & Middle East Politics, & Development Studies.

Topics and issues of interest:

  1. Inter-religious & Peace issues.
  2. Combatting global Terrorism.
  3. Crisis Strategy, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief.
  4. Human Rights and Development.
  5. International, African & Middle East Affairs.
  6. Arab- Israeli Conflict & Future of Peace in the Middle East.
  7. Sunni & Shiite Conflict.
  8. Reform of the United Nations & Global Negotiation.
  9. Empowerment of minorities and Refugees issues.

Professor Amin Kazak

Research Associate

Political Science Department University of Colorado Denver.

Professor Kazak was born in Haifa and became a Palestinian refugee in 1948. He spent his formative years impoverished in a Palestinian refugee camp. Kazak completed advanced degrees from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Denver.

His interests are Middle East Politics.

Dr. David Kazzaz

Research Associate

Dr. David Kazzaz, a native of Iraq, pursued his medical studies in Beirut in the 1940s and emigrated to the United States in 1954, settling in Denver, Colorado. His life experiences extend from the post–World War I period through the post–9/11 era. He offers a unique perspective on the causes behind the rampant brutality witnessed across the globe today—be it suicide bombings in the Middle East, genocidal wars in Africa, or terrorist strikes on American shores.

Identifying in particular the devastating “Culture of Death” that is primarily embedded in a number of African nations and in the wide Islamic world today, he argues that only a concerted effort to uproot that culture and supplant it with a “Culture of Life” offers humanity a realistic chance of achieving peace and finding ways to resolve disputes without resort to war and other forms of violence.

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David Michael Gillespie, M.A.

Research Associate


David Michael Gillespie holds an M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (2005), and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado (2002). David’s research focus is on international human rights and international politics, and he has been published in Human Rights and Human Welfare. Working with Dr. Gabbay for the past decade, David has assisted in the research of over 250 asylum cases, and has extensively studied and written about the political, religious, and social conditions of more than 30 predominately Muslim countries worldwide. Currently, David is expanding his research to examine the conditions Muslims face in European countries and the impact of current European refugee crisis.