Claudia Youakim, PhD is the Deputy Director of Knowledge Management and Research at the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL) in the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. She is a sociologist with over fifteen-years of experience in higher education — as an educator, researcher, and lead administrator. Youakim leads the research wing of CIBL and has guided the research team efforts on data collection, analysis, and strategic planning of the KIP Index
. She also led the policy analysis and reform efforts of the SAWI
Project. Her work on both projects, funded by the US-State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI
), focus on creating fair and equitable policies and practices for women in the workplace.
Youakim is a scholar at Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace, Security (GIWPS) in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her big data efforts stem from her role as Associate Director in the Center for Data Collection and Analysis at Northwestern University. Youakim’s work in the MENA region started in 2012, as a researcher on a women's economic development project in Amman, Jordan. She continues similar efforts in her leadership role at CIBL.
As a feminist scholar, Youakim strongly believes that knowledge should be made accessible to all persons. Aside from doing so in her current role through establishing the Knowledge Center
page at CIBL, alternative spaces make this possible. As such, she was a speaker in a Tedx Talk, titled 'Dream, then do it!,' she has served as a judge on Miss Arab USA, and she has led several talks and guest lectures on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to encourage dialogue and a learning community that push for systems change.
Her latest work includes a co-edited book titled, Arab Worlds Beyond the Middle East and North Africa (2021
), which captures migration and acculturation trends of Arab immigrants in various countries, including Singapore, Germany, U.S., Brazil, Chile, and Canada, to name a few. Youakim also published The Art of Storytelling: Improving Data Quality and Usage
, which encourages continued data collection efforts in the MENA region amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youakim earned a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Florida, in 2016, alongside a Graduate Certification in Women and Gender Studies. She also holds an M.A. in Sociology and Women's Studies from DePaul University and B.A., in Sociology from Loyola University, Chicago.