Alia Al-Senussi (’04, ’03 A.M.) is a visiting scholar in Middle East studies at Brown University. She is a cultural commentator interested in connecting people and ideas. Alia graduated from Brown University magna cum laude in 2003 with a double concentration in international relations (honors) and Middle East studies. She holds an A.M. in political science from Brown University (2004) and an MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society from the London School of Economics (2005). In 2019, she received her PhD in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Her doctoral research examines the nexus of institutions of power, national identity and art & culture, featuring a case study on patronage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Her dissertation explores contemporary visual artists and their contributions towards social change in Saudi Arabia, addressing the nature and structure of power through investigation of current politics and development in the country. It also investigates the challenges, limitations, and opportunities for artists in shaping debates about culture, politics, and power.
A patron and dedicated supporter of the arts, Alia is an active member of the contemporary art world, acclaimed for her work that has a special focus on young patronage in arts and culture in the Middle East. She holds a variety of non-profit board and committee positions which promote young patronage of the arts in London and collecting in the Middle East.