Maro Youssef

Maro Youssef is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of sociology, where she focuses on gender politics, social movements, and democratization in the Middle East and North Africa.  Her dissertation, Womens Movements During Democratic Transitions: The Case of Tunisia, examines Islamist and secular feminist women’s civic associations that emerged after the 2010 Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, and their relationships with the government and foreign donors during the democratic transition.  Maro’s research has been supported by the United States Institute of Peace, P.E.O. Women International, Kisco Spirit Foundation, UT Austin’s Urban Ethnography Lab, Center for Women and Gender Study, the Strauss Center, and the Association for the Study of Religion. 

She earned her Bachelor’s in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Master’s in Middle East Studies from the George Washington University.  She was a Thomas R. Pickering fellow with the U.S. Department of State from 2006 to 2014 and served in Washington D.C. and at U.S. Embassy Tunis and U.S. Embassy Ankara. 

Maro serves as a mentor to young women interested in politics, government, and academia.  She wishes to see more women of color represented in politics and hopes to become a Congresswoman from California someday.  Maro enjoys yoga and swimming breaststroke and butterfly in her free time.