Aisha Ahmad is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, the Director of the Islam and Global Affairs Initiative and a Senior Researcher of the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and the CEO of Women in International Security-Toronto. She is currently a Senior Fellow at Massey College and a Fellow at Trinity College, and was formerly an International Security Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is the author of Jihad & Co.: Black Markets and Islamist Power(Oxford University Press, 2017), which awarded both the distinguished 2017 Mershon Center Furniss Award for the best new book in international and national security, and the 2018 Best Book in Comparative Politics Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association. Her article, “The Security Bazaar,” published in the flagship journal International Security,won the 2017 Best Security Article Award from the International Studies Association.She has conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Iraq, and Lebanon, and has advised both government and international organizations on global security policies. Her research uncovers the economic drivers of conflict in war zones across the modern Muslim world.
Dr. Ahmad is also the 2018 winner of the Northrop Frye Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions to co-curricular learning and pedagogical innovation; this prize is awarded to one faculty member per year, across all three campuses, all disciplines, and academic ranks at the University of Toronto. She also won the 2018 University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus (UTSC) Assistant Professor Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching at the Scarborough campus. In 2017, she was named one of Toronto’s “most inspiring women” of 2017 in Post City Magazine. In 2018, she was named the 2018 “Muslim Woman of the Year” at the Muslim Awards of Excellence MAX gala, which celebrates outstanding achievements by a Muslim Canadian in their field. Dr. Ahmad is also the CEO of the Women in International Security Toronto chapter, which she co-founded with Dr. Leah Sarson. She is especially committed to expanding the national reach and influence of WIIS-Canada, as well as welcoming and mentoring women from underrepresented communities in the field of security.