What is the Fares Center?

The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies is a part of The Fletcher School at Tufts University. It seeks to promote of greater understanding of the Eastern Mediterranean’s rich heritage and the significant challenges facing the region in the twenty-first century. The Center promotes cross-regional and cross-cultural analysis, providing a forum for diverse viewpoints and encourages considering policy issues from an international perspective. Lying at the interface between the academic, policy and business communities, the Fares Center is in a unique position to sponsor academic symposia, conferences, and seminars to promote accurate analysis and interdisciplinary discussions.

Over the years, the Fares Center has helped to promote Fletcher’s mission of teaching, research, and service through its support and promotion of internships, research on important issues of regional diplomacy, cultural affairs, international finance, and international economic integration, conferences bringing together scholars and policy-makers, and other educational activities.


The Fares Center was established in 2001 with the financial support of Issam M. Fares, a Lebanese businessman, deputy prime minister of Lebanon, Tufts trustee emeritus, and a member of Tufts’ International Board of Overseers and the Board of Overseers for Arts & Sciences. The dedication of the Center took place in March 2002, with President Bill Clinton speaking at the event.

Leila Fawaz was the founding director of the Center, from 2001 to 2012. Nadim Shehadi succeeded her taking over in 2015. Before Vali Nasr became dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2012, he held the position of associate director at the Fares Center.

It was reported in 2002 that the Center had acquired a ceramic photo mural from the Arab American female artist Wasma’a Khalid Chorbachi. The artwork is displayed by the entrance of the center.

Partner Institutions

The Fares Center maintains primary partnerships with The Issam Fares Center at the American University of Beirut and the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies hosted at Northeastern University. These are key partners for The Fares Center as it seeks to continue bringing the strongest thought leadership and learning opportunities to members of The Fletcher School and wider Boston community.

Issam Fares Institute — American University of Beirut

​​​​​​​​Inaugurated in 2006, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (IFI) is an independent, research-based, policy-oriented institute. It aims to initiate and develop policy-relevant research in and about the Arab world. 

The Institute aims at bridging the gap between academia and policymaking by conducting high quality research on the complex issues and challenges faced by Lebanese and Arab societies within shifting international and global contexts, by generating evidence-based policy recommendations and solutions for Lebanon and the Arab world, and by creating an intellectual space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas among researchers, scholars, civil society actors, media, and policy makers.

Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies

BCARS is an international forum where Arab region scholars from Boston and Arab institutions can meet and work collaboratively to advance policy and research, strengthen a scholarly community, and mentor the next generation of policy analysts and scholars. The Fares Center Director Nadim Rouhana serves on the Consortium’s Executive Committee.

BCARS was established with the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic grantmaking foundation that was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding, “To do real and permanent good in this world.” – Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth, 1900.