Program Director for Transnational Movements and the Arab Region
Hillary S. Wiesner is the Corporation’s program director for Transnational Movements and the Arab Region. She most recently served as the first director of programmes of the Vienna-based intergovernmental Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Contributing to its institutional formation, she built headquarters and field programming in education, media, and dialogue bridging secular and religious institutions.
Ms. Wiesner previously held the positions of director of the Islam Initiative and director of Fellowships and Arab Region Programs at the Corporation, supporting the knowledge sector’s capacity to enhance both public understanding and policy development. In this role, she invested in American and Arab region research and communication in the social sciences and humanities, including new media and public-private partnerships. She worked with Arab philanthropy and higher education institutions, increasing coordination among international donors and specialists. In her new position, Ms. Wiesner builds programming to meet current challenges in and beyond the Arab region, including emergent transnational movements.
Ms. Wiesner brings to the role years of leadership experience in international and intergovernmental organizations. Prior to joining the Corporation in 2007, she was senior executive officer and secretary of the Directorate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, in Paris. Working for the director general, she was responsible for relations with the United States. She holds a BA in religion from Harvard, an MA from the University of Chicago on the Ancient Mediterranean World, and a PhD from Harvard's Committee on the Study of Religion. She serves on boards of AMIDEAST and George Mason University’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.