Each year the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Gaither Junior Fellowship offers 8-10 full-time, paid, one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. Applicants must be nominated by their universities to compete for this national program, and UW is able to nominate two students or recent alums each year. Junior Fellows provide research assistance to Associates working on the Carnegie Endowment’s projects and have the opportunity to conduct research for books, co-author journal articles and policy papers, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, journalists and government officials.
Maha Alhomoud, an undergraduate senior in Political Science, and specifically, Political Economy has been selected for the 2021-2022 program, specifically the Middle East Program. She is an international student from Saudi Arabia, which greatly influenced the direction and focus of her studies and research. Maha has always been interested in examining the contextual factors; economic, social, political, geographic, that create unique political systems in different countries, especially in the Middle Eastern Context. She is specifically interested in studying resource reliance, authoritarianism, and state-society relations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as they relate to political economy and comparative studies.
Maha is currently working on her Political Science Honors thesis, supervised by Professor Whiting, concerning the historical evolution of extractive and distributive institutions in Saudi Arabia, specifically as they pertain to taxation and how the introduction of extractive policies impacts state-society relations. As the country is undergoing rapid change per its economic diversification roadmap, VISION2030, employing a process-tracing methodology has helped her solidify her understanding of the intersection between politics and economics.
In the next few years, and especially as venues for Saudi women in the political sphere are increasing, Maha hopes to learn and gain more knowledge about the conduct of foreign affairs at the government level in Saudi Arabia and the GCC. During this time, she also hopes to explore and rely more on local archives and works produced in the region and by regional scholars for independent research projects. Long term, Maha hopes to eventually pursue a dual-graduate degree in law and political science, and attain a membership in the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia.
Read more about Maha's award at https://www.washington.edu/uaa/2021/04/22/uw-senior-maha-alhomoud-named-carnegie-junior-fellow
Read more about Maha's nomination and other UW nominees at https://expd.uw.edu/scholarships/stories/carnegie-junior-fellowship/