Governorate: Damascus
Place and Date of Birth: Damascus 1958
Component: Independent
Education: PhD in Political Studies
Twitter @BassmaKodmani
Info: Dr. Bassma Kodmani is one of the founders of the Arab Reform Initiative and the former CEO of the Initiative since its establishment in 2005 until mid 2019. During that period, she launched a series of research projects on the question of reform and democratic transition in Arab countries. She is a researcher in political sciences and professor of international relations in Paris University. She obtained her PhD from Paris Institute of Political Studies. Her academic specialty focuses on studying Arab societies; the relations between Arab societies and their political regimes; the relations between religious institutions and political authority; strategic relations in the middle east and conflicts in the region, especially the Palestinian cause.

She worked as a special advisor to the Director of International Relations at the French National Center for Scientific Research (2007-2009), a senior researcher at the Center for International Studies and Research in Paris (2006-2007), an advisor to the President of the International Diplomatic Academy for Scientific Programs, and a visiting fellow researcher at the French National Institute (College de France (2005-2006).

In the period 1999-2005, She worked at the regional office of Ford Foundation in Cairo as the head of the Governance and International Cooperation program, where she focused mainly on providing support and empowerment to Arab research centers and civil society organizations. From 1981 to 1998, she set up and directed the Middle East Studies Program at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris.

After the eruption of the revolution in Syria, she participated in founding the Syrian National Council in August 2011, and she became member of the executive office, head of the foreign relations office and the Council’s spokesperson. She resigned from the Council in August 2012. She established, with a group of academics and former politicians, an initiative called “For a New Syria” providing relief and supporting the Syrian civil society.

Her published work includes a number of books she authored, other books she edited and chapters in edited volumes and studies published in specialized refereed journals, and articles in Arab and international newspapers. She received the France Palestine Solidarity Association’s prize in 1998 on her book about the Palestinians in Diaspora (in French). She delivers lectures in a number of academic institutions as well as Arab and foreign political forums.

Bassma is a member of the advisory council of Carnegie Endowment Middle East Center,  member of the board of trustees of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Euro-Med for supporting human rights activists.

  • Member of the Constitutional Committee’s Small Body
  • Member of the Syrian Negotiation Commission
  • Member of the Negotiations Delegation of the High Negotiation Commission
  • Founding member of the Syrian National Council
  • Founding member of the “Initiative for a New Syria” Association.
  • Founding member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement
  • She launched a number of initiatives including: the Syrian Legal Forum, a preparatory program for virtual academic education for Syrian youth and “We are all Syria” Initiative for the Syrian diaspora
  • Senior fellow researcher at Institute Montaigne in France
  • Founding member of Syria Resources Group
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