Mehlaqa Samdani
  • Female
  • Longmeadow, MA
  • United States
  • Director, Critical Connections
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Critical Questions

What is the Islamic position on homosexuality, and how should American-Muslims respond to the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriages? Renown...
Jul 22, 2015
Mehlaqa Samdani updated their profile
Jul 22, 2015
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post
Nov 2, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post
Oct 1, 2012
Imran Majid liked Mehlaqa Samdani's blog post The innocence of Americans
Sep 23, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post
Sep 21, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post

GLOCs Unblocked: What Pakistan Stands to Gain protracted negotiations, the Pakistani government appears close to reaching an agreement on the resumption of NATO supply lines Pakistan closed after a…See More
Jun 7, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post
Apr 16, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a discussion
Mar 16, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani and Jonathan White are now friends
Mar 13, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani liked Jonathan White's blog post Reflective Peacebuilding as Developmental Evaluation Part I: Developmental Evaluation
Mar 12, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani and Santosh Bidari are now friends
Mar 4, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a discussion
Mar 3, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a discussion
Jan 9, 2012
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a blog post
Dec 18, 2011
Mehlaqa Samdani posted a discussion
Dec 13, 2011

Profile Information

Please feel free to provide a short bio about yourself or the work of your organization (no more than 3 paragraphs)
Mehlaqa Samdani is founder and director at Critical Connections, an independent organization in western Massachusetts that seeks to improve understanding of the Muslim world through dialogue, analysis, and outreach. She is also a faculty member at the School for International Training in Vermont, where she teaches conflict transformation and peacebuilding at a low-residency graduate certificate program.

Previously, Samdani worked as an adjunct fellow with the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a research analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where she focused on women’s empowerment in the Muslim world. She has researched and worked in various conflict and transitional settings such as Pakistan, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Israel/Palestine. She has also been involved with civil society-based peace initiatives between India and Pakistan.

Samdani’s writings have been published in the New York Times, Foreign Policy (AfPak Channel), Christian Science Monitor, Daily Times (Pakistan) etc. and she has been invited as a guest on NPR, KCBS and news channels in Pakistan. She is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver.
Please indicate if you're joining PCDN as an individual or organization (please mark the appropriate category)
individual (professional), local NGO, think tank
Please list the countries and/or regions in which you (or your organization) have direct and significant expertise
South Asia, Middle East, United States
What is your current country of residence (or location of your organization)?
United States
What is your current job (and organization) and/or where and what field are you studying?
Director, Critical Connections
How many years professional experience do you have ?
What is your personal or organizational website?
What is one of your favorite websites in the field?
Which Languages do you speak Proficiently? (note we can not list all languages, only some major world languages or ones related to conflict regions)
Which are your primary sectoral areas of expertise (or the primary sectoral areas of your organization) ?
Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, Dialogue, Diplomacy, Education, Gender, Interfaith, Humanitarian Relief, Peacebuilding, Security, Social Entreprenuership, Terrorism, Violence Prevention
Which are your primary skills areas(or the primary skill areas of your organization)?
Research, Qualitative Skills, Training
What are some of your current areas of research (if any)?
Role of civil society in combating militancy, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), Islamoophobia, etc.
If appropriate feel free to list several of your (or your organization's) publications
Detainees and the Death of Due Process Process in Pakistan
Foreign Policy (AfPak Channel)
|April 8, 2011
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani

Does Pakistan Have a Civilian Strategy?
Foreign Policy (AfPak Channel)
|July 9, 2010
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani

Election Season Ends: The Drama Surrounding Afghanistan's Runoff Poll
CSIS Critical Questions
|November 3, 2009
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani, Hardin Lang

Is a Fair Election in Afghanistan Possible?
New York Times
|October 21, 2009
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani, Karin Von Hippel

Between Bush and Bin Laden
Far Eastern Economic Review
|July 24, 2008
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani

A New Course for Pakistan
CSIS Special Report
|May 14, 2008
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani, Frederick Barton, Karin Von Hippel

An Islamic-Western Alliance Against Sectarianism in Iraq
Common Ground News Service
|October 24, 2006
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani

Promote Iraqi Women's Rights within an Islamic Framework
Christian Science Monitor
|October 14, 2005
Authors: Mehlaqa Samdani, Isobel Coleman

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