Samah Norquist

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Samah Norquist "is currently the Public Affairs Specialist for Arab and Muslim outreach at the Bureau of Legislative and Public affairs at USAID. In her position, she works on developing and implementing communications and public affairs planning with regard to various Muslim and Arab outreach issues including USAID activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle and Near East and many parts of the Muslim world where AID is present. This includes serving as a liaison with Muslim and Arab American interest groups to brief them on USAID activities in the developing world and coordination of the Agency's participation in events, conferences, and discussions designed to educate the publics about American foreign assistance. In addition, Norquist attends interagency meetings representing USAID on issues related to Arab and Muslim outreach and public diplomacy.

"Prior to working at USAID, Norquist was the director of communications at the Islamic Free Market Institute (IFMI) in Washington, DC. As director, she accompanied members of Congress delegation visits to the Middle East. Before returning to the United States, she was cultural affairs assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, where she was responsible for cultural exchange programs between the United States and Jordan.

"Born in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Norquist and her family immigrated to the United States in 1990. She attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and received her B.S. in political science in 1995. She also pursued a minor in Asian Studies with a focus on Middle Eastern affairs.

"After graduating from Northeastern, Norquist moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she attended the American University of Cairo and received her M.A. in political science with a concentration in international relations. Her thesis, "Religion, Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy in the Third World: The Case of the Indo-Pakistani Conflict over Kashmir," was the first thesis paper to focus on the role of religion in foreign policy formation.

"Norquist is a native Arabic speaker and she has worked in the United States, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar." [1]

She is married to Grover Norquist.

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  1. Samah Norquist, NAAP, accessed November 1, 2007.