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Wendy Pearlman
Interim Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Middle East and North African Studies Program

A scholar of the comparative politics of the Middle East, social movements, and forced migration, Wendy Pearlman has studied or conducted research in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Israel, and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. She is the author of five books: Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003); Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge, 2011); We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins, 2017); Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors (with Boaz Atzili, Columbia, 2018); and Muzoon: A Syrian Refugee Speaks Out (with Muzoon Almellehan, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2023). She has published forty academic articles or book chapters, including in American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, International Migration Review, International Security, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Politics & Society, Security Studies and Studies of Comparative International Development.

Since June 2023, Wendy has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Perspectives on Politics. Her teaching has been recognized by the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award, R. Barry Farrell Award for Excellence in Teaching, and repeat elections to the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll. As a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Wendy was a fellow at EUME at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin during the summers 2016-2018 and 2021-2022. Previously, Wendy was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, a Starr Foundation Fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad at the American University in Cairo, a Junior Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and a postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


The Middle East and North African Studies Program is supported by the staff of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies (WCCIAS)

Bianca R. Jimenez


Bianca R. Jimenez
Associate Director, WCCIAS

Bianca has been at the University since 2006 working with various area studies programs including Asian Studies, International Studies, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Middle East & North African Studies. She received her M.A. in Social Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology, from the University of Chicago. As Associate Director she oversees the administration of the center's programs and works with the faculty Directors to advise students, manage curricular development, and provide program management. Prior to joining Northwestern she worked for the Environmental and Conservation Program at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where she worked closely with a local NGO in Peru, CIMA-Cordillera Azul to protect cultural diversity and land security, and to integrate improved quality of life into the management of Cordillera Azul National Park. While at the Museum, she also worked with the interactive program expeditions@fieldmuseum™, which followed Field Museum scientists as they conduct groundbreaking scientific research around the world and communicate it to a wider audience through dispatches, interactives and photos.

Contact Bianca for research workshops, event planning and information, graduate student cluster, visiting scholars, course guides.



Margaret Sagan
Program Coordinator, WCCIAS

Margaret Sagan is Program Coordinator of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies, handling the center’s events. She joined the center in 2022. She co-authored the report “Responsible Coffee Sourcing: Towards a Living Income for Producers” in 2021, for the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI). She received her Master of International Affairs degree at Columbia University SIPA, performing field work in Malawi for the Business and Human Rights Clinic. She worked for a decade at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, where she managed visitor services, planned events including Jazz Showcase concerts and film screenings, and wrote the Close-Ups section of the Native Networks website.

Contact Margaret for information about event programming, communications, and honoraria.



Tiffany Williams-Cobleigh
Undergraduate and Graduate Coordinator, WCCIAS

Tiffany is a Program Assistant for the Center for International and Area Studies. She supports the International Studies Program, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, and Middle East and North African Studies Program. She has been at Northwestern since 2016 and was with the Program of African Studies before joining WCCIAS. She earned her M.A. in Sociology with a concentration in rural community and economic development from Western Illinois University through their graduate program for returned Peace Corps volunteers and worked with the University of Missouri Extension before coming to Northwestern. She did her Peace Corps service in Rwanda and continues to travel internationally each year.

Contact Tiffany for questions regarding CAESAR, course information, registration inquiries, permission numbers, graduate summer grants, special payments, student group co-sponsorships, undergraduate prizes.

Cindy Pingry


Cindy Pingry
Coordinator for Faculty Research Groups & Programming, WCCIAS

Cindy provides administrative support to the faculty research groups in the Center for International and Area Studies. She has worked in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern for over 8 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked both in the Weinberg Dean’s office and in the Department of Economics. She’s played a key role in Weinberg College’s Convocation and has planned and managed a number of special events, lectures, colloquia, and conferences on campus. She’s had the opportunity to work with a wide range of faculty members and staff across Weinberg College. She likes learning about different cultures and travelling to experience all things first-hand. She enjoys the outdoors and likes to bike, hike, and sail. In the winter she likes to cross country ski. She also considers herself a “foodie”. Stop by the office and tell her an Aggie joke as she is a graduate of Texas A&M.

Contact Cindy regarding faculty research groups; zoom meeting information, event planning, honorariums, flyers and publicity,  and other inquires related to faculty research groups.



Joel Laureano
Faculty Research Groups & Programming, WCCIAS

Joel provides administrative support to the faculty research groups in the Center for International and Area Studies.