Suzanne Levi-Sanchez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor National Security Affairs
Suzanne Levi-Sanchez Profile Image


Experienced educator, field researcher, and analyst with subject matter expertise in Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, political identity, informal institutions, local leadership, borders, ethnographic methods, and gender. Background includes intensive research on Iranian culture and politics as well as six years on and off on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan studying how local leaders and organizations impact border and state stability as well as drug, human, weapons, and gemstone trafficking.

Areas of Expertise

  • Afghanistan
  • International Relations
  • Iran

Professional Highlights


The Afghan-Central Asia Borderland: The State and Local Leaders

Based on extensive, long-term fieldwork in the borderlands of Afghan and Tajik Badakhshan, this book explores the importance of local leaders and local identity groups for the stability of a state’s borders, and ultimately for the stability of the state itself.

Local Governance At The Periphery: Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan


“New Social Media and Global Resistance,” in Laura Shepard (ed.), Gender Matters: A Feminist Introduction to International Relations, Routledge, pp. 389-401.


Ph.D., Rutgers University, Political Science

M.A., San Francisco State University, International Relations, Honors: Summa Cum Laude

B.A., New York University, Theatre

C.V. or Resume

Related Credentials

Rutgers University, Subfields: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Women and Politics, Specialization: Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Identity, and Political Ethnography

Research Contributions and Publications

Awards and Decorations

IREX Individual Advanced Research Projects Fellowship

Richards Fellow, American Institute for Afghan Studies, Boston University

IREX Award for Workshop on Transnational Crime in Eurasia at the Woodrow Wilson Center

Rutgers Special Studies Award for ECPR Methodologies Workshop in Vienna

Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Grant for Farsi, Dari, and Tajik

Rutgers Hybrid-Teaching Award

Rutgers Research Award, Dissertation Fieldwork, Department of Political Science

University of Delaware Title VIII Award

University of California Los Angeles Research Grant

Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for Intermediate Persian Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Mina Houtan Foundation Scholarship in Iranian Studies
2008 & 2009

Rutgers University Graduate Fellowship

Distinguished Student Award, SFSU

San Francisco State University Dean’s Award

Tisch School of the Arts Scholarship. Only student in program awarded a full scholarship at the top program for theatre in the US at the time.

Lillian Gish Award. Selected by a committee of theatre professionals for an award funding studies at NYU. Highly competitive with only one award granted.

External Memberships and Associations

International Society for Iranian Studies

American Political Science Association

Women in International Security

International Studies Association

Journeyman Stage Electrician, Intl Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union, Local 16

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