Dr. Sabrina Joseph

Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer


Ph.D. in History, Georgetown University (Washington DC)
M.A. in Arab Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, New College (Sarasota, Florida)

Appointed Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the American University in Dubai in January 2020, Dr. Joseph has twenty years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, researcher, and academic administrator. She is deeply familiar with the international higher education landscape, and has extensive experience in strategic planning, the development of new programs (both undergraduate and graduate), enhancing student retention, nurturing inclusive and collaborative learning environments, fostering engagement with industry and academia, and supporting faculty and student success through initiatives that promote research, entrepreneurship, mentorship, and student-centered learning.

Dr. Joseph joined AUD in January 2018 as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History. Prior to this, she spent ten years at Zayed University (UAE), where she served as Associate Dean of the College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities and later as Acting Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. During her tenure at ZU, Dr. Joseph worked closely with faculty, administrators and government stakeholders to promote women’s education in the UAE and broader region. Before moving to the UAE, Dr. Joseph had a rich and varied academic career in the US and Greece, teaching a range of history and interdisciplinary courses at the University of Portsmouth (Athens, Greece campus), Georgetown University, and Shippensburg University (Pennsylvania), where she also served on the International Education Council. Over the course of her career in the US and UAE, she has developed and implemented initiatives and curriculum changes that foster global awareness, champion diversity, and enhance students’ co-curricular experiences. Dr. Joseph is an advocate of interdisciplinary education with a liberal arts foundation, and was awarded the Global Inspirational Women Leadership Award by the Center for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD) in 2016 in recognition of her contributions to women’s education in the Middle East/Gulf region.

Dr. Joseph’s research is in the fields of Middle East and environmental history, encompassing work on land use and peasant legal rights, natural resource management, political ecology, women’s social history, and inter-faith relations during the early modern and modern periods. In addition to having presented her research at numerous conferences, Dr. Joseph has published several books and various articles in such journals as: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations; Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies; Rural History: Economy, Society, Culture; The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies; the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs; and Environment and History. Her research has been funded both by national and international grants. Currently, Dr. Joseph is involved in a research collaboration led by Harvard University, Ghent University and the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam focusing on global capitalism and commodity frontiers from the 16th-21st centuries.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, and exploring the desert.

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