One of the world’s foremost experts on Middle Eastern politics, Professor Gareth Stansfield, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, it has been announced.
Professor Stansfield, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Exeter, received the award for “Services to UK interests in Iraq”.
Speaking on receiving the honour, Professor Stansfield said ‘I am delighted to receive this honour in recognition of my work in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. My research and engagement has taken me to many parts of the Middle East region and I have been fortunate to work alongside many gifted colleagues and students, across the Middle East, in government departments, and of course in Exeter, and this award recognises this engagement.”
Professor Stansfield has been a regular commentator and adviser on Middle East politics for more than two decades, focusing in particular on the politics and political economy of Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, dynamics of Gulf/Arabian peninsula security, and questions of post-conflict stabilization and nation/state building.
He was also the inaugural Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Research Group of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and a Senior Academic Adviser to the HMG counter-ISIL task force.
He is one of a handful of academics to have lived and worked in pre-regime change Iraq for an extensive period of time, between 1997 and 2001, and has considerable fieldwork experience in a range of countries in the Middle East and Islamic World.
Recently, he was appointed as Honorary President of the Iraq Energy Institute (IEI), the first incumbent from outside Iraq to hold the prestigious role. During his tenure, Professor Stansfield provides leadership and support to building the pivotal “Transition and Climate Change” programme for Iraq – helping the provide a sustainable future for the country.
Professor Stansfield is also a Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies. He has previously served as the Director of the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies – one of the leading institutes of its kind in the world for the study of the Middle East and North Africa region.
As well as being a deployable expert of the UK government’s Office for Conflict, Stabilisation and Mediation, Professor Stansfield is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).