Raed Mualem, (Ph.D., M.Sc., M.H.A., M.A., LL.B)

Research Associate

Dr. Raed Mualem  Born to Christian family and he is living in Haifa, Israel, Dr. Raed Mualem is an educational administrator, he completed his undergraduate studies in biology  (B.Sc) and Laws (LL.B). He also holds master’s degrees in science (M.Sc), Educational leadership and management  (Ma) and Health administration (M.H.A) along with a doctoral degree in life science (Ph.D) —all awarded by Tel Aviv University. He completed post-doctoral work in biochemistry at CNRS in France and went on to teach courses such as human biology and animal physiology, chilled brain development  at Oranim Educational College . He served as vice president of Nazareth Academic Institute 2009-20015 and as Vice President Mar Elias Educational Institutions from 2002-2009, directing a dynamic K-12 school system and managing the Mar Elias Campus and Nazareth Academic Institute. During his tenure as vice president, Dr. Mu’alem also established the Professional Development Center for teachers and participated in the U.S. State Department’s International Leadership Program in 2004.  He started on September 2019 to serv as the Head of the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for Elementary Schools at Oranim Academic college.

Alla Futterman, MA

Research Associate

Alla Futterman (née Rubinstein) has an MA. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (2011) and a BA in Psychology from the University of Chicago (2006).

Alla spent 10 years working with international nonprofits, primarily focused on refugees and immigration. She has worked with the International Organization for Migration and Human Rights House in Lithuania, the African Community Center in Denver, and as an immigration paralegal in Washington D.C. She managed the international arm of LeadingAge, assisting with international policy coordination across multiple regions for aging services. Alla has also assisted Dr. Gabbay in the research of multiple asylum cases.

Shaul M. Gabbay Ph.D.

Executive Director

In Publication 2018


Dr. 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 PhD program at Columbia University in New York and received an invitation from the University of Chicago for a Post Doctoral program. In 1998 Dr. 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.

His areas of expertise include Middle East cultures and societal norms,  Middle East conflicts, and human rights issues existing in Muslim societies.  He is regularly cited and acts as a commentator in national and international media such as the Associated Press, CBS, NBC, FOX and MSNBC.

Professor Gabbay Photo Gallery


Ambassador Sam Zakhem, PhD

Research Associate

A Former United States Ambassador to Bahrain, Dr. Zakhem continues research of Middle East issues and political trends in Arab countries.  A native of Lebanon, Dr. Zahem’s continues to make significant contributions to his his field of expertise.


PhD and MA 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.

He is recognized for detailed reports, policy papers and statements as well as for his thorough  research.

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

He served as Consul General of Sudan to New York as well as Counselor 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 of Colorado and at the University of Khartoum, respectively teaching at these institutions courses on Human Rights and Development in Africa, African and African American History, Middle East Politics and Diplomacy as well as Art and Science of Negotiation.

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

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

Topics and issues of interest:

  1. Inter-religious and Peace issues.
  2. Combating global Terrorism.
  3. Crisis Strategy, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief.
  4. Human Rights and Development.
  5. International African and Middle East Affairs.
  6. The Arab-Israeli Conflict and Future of Peace in the Middle East.
  7. The Sunni and Shiite Conflict.
  8. Reform of the United Nations and 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.  He 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 PhD from the University of Denver.

He maintains an enduring interest in Middle East Politics.

David Profile Pic

David Michael Gillespie, MA

Research Associate

David Michael Gillespie has an M. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (2005) and a BA in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado (2002).

David’s research focus is on international human rights and international politics.   He has been published in Human Rights and Human Welfare. Working with Dr. Gabbay for the past decade, David has assisted in the research for over 250 asylum cases, and has extensively studied and written about the political, religious, and social conditions in 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 on these countries of the current Muslim refugee crisis there.

Seth Ward,Ph.D.

Research Associate 

Global Research Institute

Dr. Seth Ward, is founder and director of the Institute for Islamic, Judaic, Middle East and Sephardic Studies, with over fifty years of experience in these fields. Dr. Ward taught Islam, Judaism and Middle East in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming from January 2003 to retirement in the summer of 2022, as well as formal and mixed credit/non-credit classes in Middle Eastern languages (Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic). Ward taught at the University of Denver for ten years, where he directed the University of Denver’s Institute for Islamic-Judaic Studies. Ward also taught as a sabbatical replacement and lecturer at CU-Boulder for two years, teaching Islamic Religion, and introducing a program of studies in Jewish History. Ward also taught at Colorado College and the University of Colorado, Denver. He came to the University of Denver after six years teaching at the University of Haifa and the Technion. He continues to offer informal study opportunities and more formal courses in Hebrew, Judaica and other topics.

Ward’s academic degrees are from Yale University, with additional studies at Hebrew University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. His PhD was about Shari’a law relating to synagogues and churches. Ward taught courses on Islam, Middle East, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, Encounters between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Women in Judaism, The Splendor of Spain, Jewish Mysticism and Islamic Sufism, Middle East and Israel in Film, and other topics. Ward initiated and taught the Arabic program at the University of Denver and was a party to initiating the program at the University of Wyoming. He was a Wyoming Humanities Council “ThinkWy” presenter for over a decade and is a Brandeis Schusterman Institute for Israel Studies Fellow.

Ward has been an Expert Witness and Consultant for cases involving Islamic, Jewish or Middle East issues, especially regarding religious civil rights, prisoners, employment, and marriage-related considerations. (Ward has been accepted as an expert witness in depositions and court testimony.)

Dr. Ward’s areas of interest include Jewish-Muslim relations, comparative religion and scripture, Crypto-Judaism, Medieval and modern Middle East studies, Hebrew, Arabic and related languages, including translation and teaching, Jewish and Israeli music and more. Dr. Ward is a Board member (and Program Chair) of the Society for Crypto-Jewish Studies and Western Judaic Studies Association, and President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Hebrew Chorale (http://coloradohebrewchorale.org).  Experience with non-profit boards has given him insight into many aspects of these organizations.

A tenor with the Chorale, Ward has prepared program notes, has offered pre-concert talks for musical organizations presenting Hebrew-language music, and has developed a curriculum introducing vocal and choral musicians to some of the linguistic, cultural, and diversity considerations involved in Hebrew music.

Dr. Ward has led Saturday morning services for what is now known as Kavod Senior Living for some three decades.

From 2009-2019, Dr. Ward directed an annual Middle East Field Course on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Holocaust and the State of Israel, in Israel with excursions to Egypt and Jordan, and is available to consult for, lead or organize Israel, Middle East, and Mediterranean-area travel.

He is widely published in scholarly journals, and posts articles via http://drsethward.wordpress.com and other platforms.

Deborah Rohan

Research Associate 

Global Research Institute

Deborah Rohan is the creator and host of “How We Change the World” video podcast. She has written numerous books and articles and plays a pivotal role in aiding refugees in their quest for asylum, producing hundreds of reports to support their cause.

With a decade-long background as a diversity and conflict resolution trainer, Deborah Rohan subsequently spent a decade as a Program Manager and later Executive Director of a Middle East Center at the University of Denver. In this capacity, she orchestrated the convergence of Middle Eastern leaders, academics, students, and the broader community, fostering an environment conducive to active listening and constructive dialogue.

These experiences served as the impetus for her directorship at “Meet the Middle East,” a non-profit organization she co-founded. Through this initiative, American students and adults are offered the unique opportunity to directly engage with the heart of the Middle East, gaining intimate insights into the lives, cultures, and worldviews of the region’s inhabitants.

Deborah Rohan’s academic background encompasses a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Northern Colorado, complemented by advanced studies in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver.