Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Mary-Jane Deeb

photo of Mary-Jane Deeb

Dr. Mary-Jane Deeb received her Ph.D. in International Relations of the Middle East and Africa from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University and her B.A. and M.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from the American University in Cairo where she lived for many years. She is fluent in French and Arabic, and can read seven other languages. She was the President of the American Tunisian Association (2016-2018), and an elected member of the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association (2015-2018). She retired after twenty years as Chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress in February 2019. She has traveled and lectured all over the world including, more recently, in Davos during the 2018 World Economic Forum, in Azerbaijan in March 2018, and in Nanjing and Nantong in China in May 2018. Before joining the Library of Congress she taught Comparative and International Politics at the American University in Washington for ten years. Deeb is the author and editor of several books and 190 articles on the Middle East and North Africa. She has also written four mystery novels: Cocktails and Murder on the Potomac, Murder on the Riviera, A Christmas Mystery in Provence, and Death of a Harlequin, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. She worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia, UNICEF, AMIDEAST, the USAID in Beirut during the civil war, and was also a UN observer for the 1997 Algerian elections. She has received a number of awards, and is listed in the Marquis' Who's Who in America and the Marquis' Who's Who in the World.