Dr. Mai Yamani was born in Cairo in 1956 to an Iraqi mother from Mosul and a Hijazi father from Mecca. Her paternal grandfathers came from Yemen. Her early education included schooling in Baghdad, Jeddah, and Lausanne. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania and her M.St. and D.Phil. in Social Anthropology from Oxford University. She started her career as a university lecturer in Saudi Arabia and moved on to become a scholar at leading international think tanks in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.
Dr. Yamani is an established commentator on Muslim and Arab politics, in particular on Saudi Arabia. Her articles have appeared in 109 newspapers around the world. She has frequently been asked to testify before the U.S. Senate and the British House of Commons, and has also briefed Britain’s judiciary on the topic of Islam. In addition to her academic and media work, she has acted as a consultant to international banks, oil companies and other foreign governments. Dr. Yamani speaks fluent Arabic, English, French and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Persian, Hebrew and Italian.
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Beirut
- Brookings Institute, Washington D.C.
- Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, London
- Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, London
- Somerville College, Oxford University
- Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
- Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
- King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah