The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Amel Ahmed Named the New Director of Diversity Advancement at the UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

We are delighted to announce that Amel Ahmed, Associate Professor of Political Science, has been appointed as the next SBS Director of Diversity Advancement.  Her appointment will begin in January 2017.  A scholar of comparative politics, American political development, and democratic theory, she will be working to promote excellence, inclusion, and diversity throughout the College.

Amel Ahmed was hired as Assistant Professor of Political Science at UMass in 2007 and two years later was awarded the Lilly Teaching Fellowship. She recently published Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice: Engineering Electoral Dominance(Cambridge University Press), which won the prestigious “Best Book Award” from the European Politics and Society Section of the American Political Science Association. In it, she examines the dynamics of electoral system choice in the context of historical democratizers.

Professor Ahmed has an enduring commitment to engaged scholarship and has done extensive outreach work, much of which revolves around her interest in democratic politics and her belief in the importance of transparency and inclusiveness in the electoral process. She has worked with policy makers in the United States, as well as international NGOs, to enhance electoral transparency, finding creative ways of making electoral data more available and allowing diverse constituencies to participate in the electoral process. In addition, she regularly gives interviews to various media outlets on topics related to elections in the United States and abroad.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Amel as the new SBS Director of Diversity Advancement,” notes Dean John Hird.  “She brings great skill and passion for advancing diversity and inclusiveness in the College, and we need both now more than ever.  She’ll be working within the College and across the University to advance our diversity goals, which touch all areas of our work."

Prior to Ahmed filling this role, Mari Castañeda, Professor and Chair of Communication, and Enobong (Anna) Hannah Branch, Associate Professor of Sociology, led the college in diversity initiatives.

Regarding her appointment, Ahmed says, "I look forward to helping the college navigate the challenges of diversity and inclusiveness in the coming years, and working to ensure that all members of our community feel welcome and supported."

News Type: 

  • Faculty News