AWARD RECIPIENT FOR PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Dr Marc Owen Jones is an Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, which specializes in tackling the growing scourge of digital disinformation. Marc graduated from Durham University (Ph.D., MSc) and Cardiff University (BA Hons) specialising in Government and International Relations. Durham University gave Marc a unique balance of pastoral and academic experience that formed the basis for the critical skills needed to fuse an academic career with human rights advocacy.
After graduating with a 1st from Cardiff University, Marc spent a year in Sudan teaching English and improving his Arabic, before getting a CASAW full scholarship to do an MSC in Arab World Studies, a course taught across the Universities of Damascus, Edinburgh, and Durham, earning him an MSc with distinction, and received a number of prestigious scholarship offers, including from UPenn and Leicester University. Instead, choosing to stay at Durham after being awarded the ESRC/AHRC Ph.D. scholarship.
Marc began his Ph.D. in 2011, with a thesis on documenting the history of political repression in Bahrain. Helping him set up and becoming the director of an NGO called Bahrain Watch. The team won hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding from organisations such as HIVOS, Lush, and Access Now for pioneering forensic research on human rights. Among many successes was preventing millions of tear gas canisters from being shipped to Bahrain from South Korea and tracking the use of spyware to harm human rights activists.
In 2016, the Ph.D. thesis won the prestigious Best Thesis Award from the Association of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies. At only 32 years of age, Marc secured a permanent post at Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. Which led him to receive the department 'above and beyond award', and was nominated by the Students' Guild for best and most innovative lecturer. This made Marc noticed and was headhunted for his current position at HBKU, where he won the faculty excellence award two years in a row since joining in 2018.
Marc’s pioneering work on disinformation and digital technology has helped expose malicious influence campaigns targeting people across the globe. Having written 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, edited two books, and published his first monograph with Cambridge University Press, been cited in over 70 op-eds, including the Washington Post, the New Statesman, CNN, the Guardian, and in 2018, featured as the New York Times 'quote of the day'. Also, appearing in numerous documentaries, news, and radio shows, including on the BBC, LBC, Al Jazeera, and Deutsche Welle.
In addition to reaching millions of people through the media, Marc often called to consult and advise ambassadors and legal experts on issues of gulf politics and disinformation.
Marc is currently writing his next book with Hurst/Oxford University Press (2021) on the topic of disinformation in the Middle East and training the new EU team in disinformation tracking techniques.