Ellen Lust is the Founding Director of the Governance and Local Development Institute at Yale University (est. 2013), and then at the University of Gothenburg (est. 2015), and is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. She received her M.A. in Modern Middle East and North African Studies (1993), PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan (1997), and an honorary PhD from Yale University (2007). She was previously a faculty member at Rice University (1997-2000) and at Yale University (2000-2015), chair of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University, and a visiting scholar at the Institute of Graduate Studies (Geneva, Switzerland) and at the Straus Institute at NYU. She is currently a Tällberg Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellow.
Ellen has conducted fieldwork and implemented surveys in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Zambia. She has authored numerous books, textbooks, and articles, including most recently, Safer Research in the Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences: A Guide to Human and Digital Security in Hostile Environments (SAGE Publishing, 2020) in collaboration with Jannis Grimm, Kevin Koehler, Ilyas Saliba, and Isabell Schierenbeck. Ellen’s current research is aimed at examining the role of social institutions in governance and developing governance indicators to systematically gauge sub-national variations in governance and development.
She was a co-founder of the Transitional Governance Project, a founding associate editor of the Journal of Middle East Law and Governance, and has served as an advisor and consultant to such organizations as the Carter Center, Freedom House, NDI, UNDEF, UNDP, USAID, and the World Bank. The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, the Swedish Research Council, and the Moulay Hicham/Hicham Alaoui Foundation have supported her work.