WORDE Senior Fellow
Mehreen Farooq’s areas of expertise include public policy, civic engagement, countering violent extremism (CVE) and grass-roots community development. She received her MA in International Affairs from American University, focusing on the socio- political development of the broader Middle East. Her current projects include analyzing Afghanistan and Pakistan’s civil society level efforts to counter extremism. Since 2011, she has traveled to over 45 cities and villages in the region to interview hundreds of youth activists, religious scholars, and tribal elders to explore their peacebuilding initiatives.
Mehreen Farooq is a Senior Fellow with the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE).
At WORDE, Farooq joins a team of specialists who work with Muslims throughout the world to build community resilience against violent extremism. She also advises US policymakers on developing strategies to engage Muslim communities worldwide.
Farooq’s current projects include researching the capacity of civil society in Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote peace. She is a co-author of the report, “Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Violent Extremism,” a comprehensive study based on in-depth fieldwork in 35 cities and villages across Pakistan and interviews with over 100 civil society activists, former militants, jirga members, and religious scholars. In addition, she published a supplementary 275 page directory, “From Community Building to Countering Extremism: An A-to-Z Guide to Pakistan’s Civil Society,” which has been developed as a resource exclusively for US policymakers.
Mehreen Farooq has also worked with Muslim community organizers, law enforcement officials and youth across America to produce “A Community Based Approach to Countering Radicalization,” one of the first Muslim-led studies in America to explore ways that Muslim American communities and policymakers can create bottom-up efforts to address homegrown violent extremism, and engender greater trust between Muslim communities and the US Government.
Her recent articles and publications include an exclusive five-part series for Foreign Policy Magazine on Pakistan’s efforts to counter terrorism; “Civil Society May Hold Key for Peace in Pakistan” in the Common Ground News Service; “How to Fight Jihad in America,” and “After Osama bin Laden’s Death, Time for a New Poster Child for Islam,” in the Christian Science Monitor; and “Defeating the Taliban in Pakistan,” in the Congressional daily, The Hill.
Prior to joining WORDE, Farooq worked with McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy, the Center for Democracy and Election Management and the Middle East Institute. She has lived and traveled throughout Pakistan, including the frontier regions of Baluchistan. She is fluent in Urdu and has studied Arabic. She is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and in 2007 was selected as a Fulbright scholar to research democratic movements in Egypt. Farooq received her BA in Political Science and Leadership from Christopher Newport University and her MA in International Affairs from American University, focusing on the socio-political development of the broader Middle East.
“Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Violent Extremism,” WORDE Report, October 2012
“A Community Based Approach to Countering Radicalization” WORDE Report, January 2011
“Traditional Muslim Networks: Pakistan’s Untapped Resource in the Fight Against Terrorism,” WORDE Report, May 2010
“Developing FATA: A White Paper for USAID,” December 2009
“Civil Society may hold Key for Peace in Pakistan,” Common Ground News Services, November 13, 2012
“Pakistan’s Bid for Tolerance,” ForeignPolicy.com, September 26, 2012
“Out-Recruiting Pakistan’s Extremists,” Foreign Policy Magazine, Af Pak Channel, February 29, 2012
“Evicting, the Taliban from Swat,” Foreign Policy Magazine, Af Pak Channel, November 2, 2011
“Pakistan’s Most Powerful Weapon,” Foreign Policy Magazine, Af Pak Channel, October 21, 2011
“The Battle for the Soul of Pakistan,” Foreign Policy Magazine: Af Pak Channel, September 1, 2011
“Countering Violent Extremism,” in “A Multi-Disciplinary White Paper in Support of Counter-Terrorism and Counter-WMD. Published by the US Department of Defense, ptember 2011 (Read Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi and Mehreen Farooq’s contribution on p. 94)
“After Osama bin Laden’s Death, Time for a New Poster Child for Islam,” Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2011
“Five Myths about Islam and Muslims,” Perspectives, April 2011
“How to Fight Jihad in America,” Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 2010
“Defeating the Taliban in Pakistan,” The Hill, November 12, 2009