Maya is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University whose work lies at the intersection of the fields of epistemic injustice, comparative education, and language of instruction policies. Specifically, her research delves into the intricate relation between schooling and power, with the purpose of understanding how language of instruction choices can amplify the dominance of certain groups and individuals while further marginalizing others. Central to this inquiry is the exploration of how such choices and policies influence individuals’ development—as well as their reception—as knowers and contributors to a knowledge-driven society. Prior to doctoral studies, Alkateb-Chami had a career in nonprofit management spanning the areas of human rights, refugee education, and culture and the arts. Most recently, she was Managing Director of Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, where she supported and co-led a team of lawyers working to advance human rights through research, education, and advocacy. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of Jusoor, a nonprofit organization that helps conflict-affected Syrian youth and children pursue their education in four countries.

Alkateb-Chami holds an MEd in Language and Literacy from Harvard University; an MSc in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington; and a BA in Political Science from Damascus University. A Fulbright Scholar and UNESCO expert specializing in Syrian cultural heritage, her research on arts-based youth empowerment won the 2017 Master's Thesis Award of the U.S. Society for Education Through Art. Transitioning into a career more focused on education and research, Alkateb-Chami has designed training programs on linguistic rights and the right to education for Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as an Instructor in Education and a Teaching Fellow, and presently serves on the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review.