MESA’s Bylaws provide for four permanent committees of the association: The Executive Committee, the Annual Meeting Program Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Publications Committee. The Board of Directors may constitute other committees as the need arises.
The Executive Committee is comprised of the officers of the association: President, President-Elect or Past-President, the Executive Director, and the Treasurer. The committee acts on behalf of the Board of Directors in the operation of the association.
Annual Meeting Program Committee
MESA’s program committee is charged with reviewing submissions and setting the program for MESA’s annual meeting. Each year, a program chair is selected by MESA's Board of Directors, one who typically resides in the region where the annual meeting is being held. The program chair, in consultation with MESA's board, selects the program committee members.
The committee is comprised of 20+ people representing at least four different institutions; every effort is made to select a diverse committee representing the range of disciplines and areas of study that reflect those of MESA’s membership. The program committee reviews submissions and meets over a weekend in March or early April to construct the meeting program. All communications with MESA's program committee are made through the MESA Secretariat. The program committee is an autonomous body and its decisions about program participation are final.
The Nominating Committee (MESA Bylaws, Article VI. Committees. Section 2. Nominating Committee) shall be nominated at the Annual Meeting. It shall consist of five Fellows in good standing and one Student Member in good standing. The Board of Directors shall submit a list of names of at least eight Fellows for five positions and a list of names of at least four Student Members for one position. Additional names may be proposed from the floor at the time of the Annual Members Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall be elected by ballot in advance of the Annual Meeting, under the guidance of the Board of Directors, with the assistance of the Executive Director. The five Fellows and one Student Member receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. The Executive Director shall serve as the non-voting chair of the Nominating Committee. The elected Nominating Committee shall proceed in the manner described in Article IV, Section 7 and Article V, Section 2.
The Publications Committee (MESA Bylaws, Article VI. Committees, Section 5. Publications Committee) consist of five persons: the Editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), the Editor of the Review of Middle East Studies (RoMES), one elected member of the Board of Directors appointed by the Board, and two members-at-large appointed by the Board. The Editors of the two journals continue to serve on the Committee as long as they hold their editorial positions, the members-at-large serve for a period of three years, and the Member of the Board serves for two or three years, depending upon his or her tenure on the Board. The Member of the Board other than the editors of IJMES and RoMES shall be the Chair. The Committee shall coordinate and review the publication activities of the Association, and report annually to the Board of Directors.
Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee (ASH)
The MESA Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee was established by MESA’s Board of Directors in 2018 to address issues of sexual harassment at MESA’s annual meeting and more broadly in the field.
Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF)
The Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) seeks to foster the free exchange of knowledge as a human right and to inhibit infringements on that right by government restrictions on scholars. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provide the principal standards by which human rights violations are identified today. Those rights include the right to education and work, freedom of movement and residence, and freedom of association and assembly.
Committee for Undergraduate Middle East Studies (CUMES)
The Committee for Undergraduate Middle East Studies (CUMES) promotes and shares best practices in teaching and learning in Middle East Studies, including areas such as pedagogy, course design, curriculum development, assessment, instructional technologies, and educational/study abroad opportunities in the MENA region. Its work includes organizing the annual Undergraduate Research Workshop and sponsoring panels on teaching and learning at MESA conferences. Membership is open to all MESA educators and administrators involved in the instruction of Middle East Studies to undergraduate populations.
Board members serve three year renewable terms. New members are appointed by the MESA Board following a call for nominations among the broader CUMES community. The responsibilities of CUMES Board members include attendance at the MESA annual conference, participation in the planning and/or coordination of the annual Undergraduate Research Workshop, and active engagement in other CUMES projects.
Victoria Hightower, University of North Georgia (chair)
Youness Mountaki, Wofford College (co-chair)
Kristi Barnwell, University of Illinois-Springfield
Pheroze Unwalla, University of British Columbia
Jeff VanDenBerg, Drury University
Global Academy Committee (GAC)
The MESA Global Academy is an interdisciplinary initiative to sustain essential research collaborations and knowledge production among MENA-focused scholars from the region of the Middle East and North Africa and their counterparts outside the region. The Global Academy awards competitive fellowships to displaced scholars from the MENA region to attend meetings, workshops and conferences, harnessing the strengths of MESA’s institutional and individual members to support the careers of individual researchers who study the Middle East and North Africa, but whose academic trajectory has been adversely affected by developments in their home countries.
The MESA Global Academy is supported by grants and sustained through a vast university network, with programming developed through critical support from faculty at partnering universities. In addition, the Global Academy draws upon key partnerships with dissemination partners and organizations that support displaced scholars.
The MESA Global Academy is led by a committee composed of MESA members. The GAC protocol outlines procedures and committee composition.
Task Force for Civil and Human Rights (TFCHR)
The Task Force on Civil and Human Rights pays close attention to the legal and political landscape and monitors shifts that may negatively affect our members. It tracks official rhetoric that targets Muslim and Middle Eastern communities and the reported harassment of Muslim and Middle Eastern students and faculty. It is attentive to the ways in which immigration law and the proposed registry program that targets Muslims may pose challenges to Muslim and Middle Eastern communities, and students and researchers working on the Middle East. It serves as a vehicle to monitor such developments and devises ways for MESA to respond effectively to the federal administration and its policies.