Our Team

Our Team | Al Qasim Foundation | Ras Al Khaimah | Diversity


  • Visiting Scholar

    Dr. Elizabeth Buckner

    Dr. Elizabeth Buckner is an Assistant Visiting Professor of International Comparative Education and Middle East Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her position is sponsored through a formal collaboration among the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, Columbia University’s Middle East Institute, and Teachers College. As part of her position, Elizabeth regularly conducts field research in Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates and contributes to the Foundation’s broader work.

    In addition to her academic research, Elizabeth has also worked in research consultancies and internships with numerous non-profits and international development organizations. She is interested broadly in globalization, education and international development policy. She has researched various aspects of globalization’s effect on education, including textbook portrayals of globalization, the growth of English language learning, and the privatization of higher education.

    Elizabeth completed her Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education and Sociology and Education at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education in 2014. She holds a M.A. in Sociology from Stanford and a B.A. in Educational Studies and Sociology from Swarthmore College, where she graduated with Highest Honors in 2006.

  • Visiting Scholar

    Sandeep Agrawal

    Dr. Sandeep Agrawal is an internationally recognized urban planning scholar and practitioner with over 20 years of experience. Currently, he is a Professor and the Inaugural Director of the Urban and Regional Planning Programs at the University of Alberta in Canada. His expertise lies in international development and planning and he has been a recipient of multiple international faculty fellowships and grants to conduct research works in Canada, India, Sri Lanka and China. He has experience working in a variety of capacities here in the UAE and has collaborated extensively with the American University of Sharjah.

    Dr. Agrawal received his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois in 2001. He is currently researching the impacts of affordable housing policies and programs in Ras Al Khaimah. He is examining the location, effectiveness, urban impact, and policy alignment of housing programs in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE, while comparing and contrasting housing for Emirate households with that for expatriates to uncover possible lessons that can be learned.

  • Visiting Scholar

    Will Raynolds

    Will Raynolds is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, where he focuses on heritage conservation in environments in which the rate of change is uncommonly fast, or where the regulatory framework to support preservation is underdeveloped. He has worked on heritage projects throughout the MENA region, particularly in Libya, Egypt and Jordan.

    In Ras al Khaimah, his research involves the documentation of the extent and integrity of the historic felaj waterworks, the description of the prospects and challenges associated with preserving these features, and the identification of opportunities to better incorporate these vital waterworks into the historic narrative that RAK presents to its citizens and the broader world. He is the Heritage Conservation Program Director of the J.M. Kaplan Fund in New York, as well as the Libya Program Manager for the American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives. He holds an M.Sc. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Dartmouth College.

  • Visiting Scholar

    William Cook

    William Cook is a PhD student at York University in Toronto in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program. His research generally focuses on language policy and he has special interest in investigating how local, unwritten language policy is articulated and experienced by people in their everyday lives. He often relies on ethnographic methods and narrative data in his research.

    With the support of the Al Qasimi Foundation in 2017-18, he is undertaking a project which explores the lived language policy experiences of people working and studying at a school in Ras Al Khaimah. The project also follows these people as they move through the city, attempting to better understand both the language choices they make and how different spaces in the city affect these choices.

  • Visiting Scholar

    Emily Winchip

    Emily Winchip is currently a PhD student at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on the experiences of teachers with a specific focus on teachers in international and for-profit schools. She is interested in feminist, quantitative approaches to research and specializes in Rasch analysis.

    Emily has previously worked as an international educator, teaching music in Dubai, Kuwait, and in Oregon, USA. She received a Master of Education in Educational Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from the University of Illinois – Chicago in 2014 and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Western Illinois University in 2006. While with the Foundation, Emily will be investigating the business influences on teachers’ work in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Non-resident Researcher

    Elizabeth Bruce

    Elizabeth holds a BS with Honors in Textile Chemistry from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Currently, she is pursuing an MEd in Globalization and Educational Change at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Her research interests center on sub-Saharan Africa, specifically focusing on the areas of health research partnerships and academic publishing. Elizabeth has also been involved with work related to the migration and resettlement of Syrian refugees in Europe and is part of collaborative work examining the scientization of mass education worldwide. Elizabeth is providing background research support for a research project exploring global trends in boys educational attainment and retention.

  • Arts & Culture Intern

    Azza Alnuaimi

    Azza Alnuaimi is a recent graduate in applied media and graphic design from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Ras Al Khaimah. Azza is currently interning at the Al Qasimi Foundation and is assisting on developing content for the upcoming 7th Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival.

  • Foundation Photographer

    Rhys Simpson-Hopkins

    Rhys Simpson-Hopkins is from Wales and arrived in the United Arab Emirates in 2008. He has a passion for working with brands for commercial and fashion photography and has served as Creative Director on campaigns/projects for clients such Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority, Al Marjan Island and Ras Al Khaimah Hospitality Holding. He also produces and directs videography. Rhys is known for his creativity and his natural, keen eye for detail, his professionalism that creates an easy working environment, and his ability to manage projects. He is driven to produce results and form long-lasting relationships with ambitious clients.

    Rhys has collaborated with the Al Qasimi Foundation on various award ceremonies and public events.