About Dalia Ziada

Dalia Ziada داليا زيادة

Dalia Ziada; 
Civil society professional and socio-political analyst; passionate about promoting liberal democracy and fighting Islamic extremism in Egypt and the Middle East.

  • March 2016 to the present: a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW); a President affiliated organization working on advancing women’s rights in Egypt. The Foreign Affairs Committee is primarily responsible for creating and improving Egypt’s relations with governmental and non-governmental institutions worldwide, on topics related to women’s rights.
  • November 2014 to the present: Founding Director of the Liberal Democracy Institute of Egypt (LDI), a Cairo-based think tank studying, promoting and advising policymakers on promoting liberal democracy and fighting violent extremism.
  • Before founding LDI, Dalia worked for three years as the Executive Director of Ibn Khaldun Center for Democratic Studies (IKC); from April 2012 to November 2014. 
  • Before joining IKC, Dalia worked for seven years as the Regional Director in Middle East and North Africa for the Washington, DC based American Islamic Congress (AIC); from 2006 to 2012. 
  • Between 2006 and 2008, Dalia was involved in research projects on human rights, women's rights, democratization, and international politics with a number of human rights organizations and think tanks in Cairo and Washington, DC.  

Published work: 

Dalia is still blogging and video-blogging on her largely viewed blog since 2006. In addition, she regularly writes opinion editorials on current affairs for prominent Egyptian and international newspapers, including Almasry Alyoum, Washington Post, CNN, and Jerusalem Post. 

Dalia Co-authored and translated several books on socio-politics in Egypt, democratization in the Middle East, political Islamism, and women's rights. They include: 
  • "The Curious Case of the Three-Legged Wolf - Egypt: Military, Islamism, and Liberal Democracy"; Liberal Democracy Institute 2019 
  • Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements”; Syracuse University Press 2018 
  • Modern Narrative for Muslim Women in the Middle East”; AIC-DC 2010 
  • "Lam Alef" a collection of poetry in Arabic; Maktoub Publishing 2009
  • Civil Rights and The Montgomery Story” Comic Book in Arabic; AIC-Egypt 2008
  • Egypt, Whereto? The Future of Democratic Reform"; Tharwa Foundation 2008
  • The Internet Vs Arab Regimes”; Arab Network for Human Rights 2006 

Awards and Honors: 
  • Selected by The Diplomatic Courier as one of the 99 Foreign Policy Leaders under 33 (2013), 
  • Named by Newsweek for two years in a row (2011-2012) as one of world’s most influential and most fearless women, 
  • Named by CNN as one of Arab World’s eight agents of change (2012), 
  • Selected by Daily Beast as one of world’s 17 bravest bloggers (2011), 
  • Received Tufts University Presidential Award for civil work (2011), 
  • Received Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Award for her blog (2010).

In addition, Dalia’s story and struggle for liberal democracy in Egypt was profiled in best-selling books in the United States, like: 

- Robin Wright’s “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World”; and 

- Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s “Rabble Rousers: Fearless Fighters for Social Justice”. 


Dalia is a proud graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in the United States and Ain Shams University in Egypt. Dalia holds a PhD degree in international security studies with a focus on the nonviolent interactions between military, Islamism, and liberal democratization in post-Arab-Spring Egypt. Dalia also holds a Masters Degree in International Relations with a focus on Civil-Military Relations in Nonviolent Conflict during Egypt's 2011 revolution. Dalia's Bachelors Degree, however, is in English literature with a focus on political discourse in Shakespearean drama. 

Areas of expertise: 
  • Egypt politics
  • Middle East politics 
  • Liberal democracy, Human Rights, and Civil freedoms in the Arab world
  • Muslim women’s rights
  • Nonviolent action and strategies
  • Civil Society in the Arab world
  • Civil-Military relations
  • Political Islam and Terrorism 
  • Violent extremism and Radicalization
  • International Security Studies