Dr. Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
Dr. Amra Sabic-El-Rayess is the Associate Professor of Practice in Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Project Director at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, and affiliated faculty member at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies.
Dr. Amra Sabic-El-Rayess is the Associate Professor of Practice in Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Project Director at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, and affiliated faculty member at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies. Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess is an interdisciplinary scholar who leverages the fields of economics, sociology, and political science to address the questions of radicalization, social mobility, corruption, and exclusion of women. She works on concrete ways to facilitate women’s social mobility through better financial inclusion and access to financial services. Her work also examines the role of informal educational practices and formal institutions in creating new societal dynamics, norms, and behaviors. Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess’ current research examines how ultraconservative groups leverage education, both informal and formal, to instigate changes in social norms, values, and behaviors. Salafism, in particular, has developed innovative and transformative educational capacities that inject new social norms and ultraconservative beliefs into previously unreceptive societies. Even initially unreceptive populations are often transformed into supporters and eventually self-conformers to the new ideological platform and belief system. How education aids this path towards radicalization is at the core of Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess’ upcoming book on Salafism.
Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess has taught, researched, and published on a range of issues in education, including questions of social mobility, exclusion, elite formation, corruption, education leadership and organization, transitional justice, teacher quality, and others.
Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess is a recipient of multiple awards, including grants from the United States State Department; Smith Richardson Foundation; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Kennan Institute; International Research and Exchange Board; and the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies. Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess has worked in various capacities for Columbia University, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, UNDP, IFES, IMC, OSCE, UNICEF, foreign Ministries of Education, and other globally renowned institutions.
She serves as the Board Director of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation; Board Director of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Advisory Board Director of the Women’s March Global; and a member of the International Editorial Board for the International Journal of Educational Development. Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess also served as the Board Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Board Director of the Tuxedo Park School. She is a Member of the World Association of International Studies and Member of the International Institute for the Middle East and Balkan Studies.
Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess obtained her Ph.D. and Master of Philosophy in Comparative and International Education with Specialization in Economics from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as Masters in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in Economics from Brown University.
Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess was born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a Bosnian war survivor.