Keith David Watenpaugh

photo of Keith David Watenpaugh

Professor and Director of Human Rights Studies, University of California, Davis

Since 2013, Keith David  Watenpaugh has directed an international multi-disciplinary research project to assist refugee university students and scholars fleeing the war in Syria. This project has garnered support from the Carnegie Corp. of New York, the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation.

His team developed and deployed in the Middle East, the Article 26 Backpack™ - The Universal Human Rights Tool for Academic Mobility. At its core, it provides refugee young people with a way to safely store and share with universities, scholarship agencies, credential evaluation services, and even employers their educational background, employment history, professional achievements and goals. The Backpack builds connection and inclusion.

Watenpaugh is an expert on human rights and refugees in the Middle East. He is author most recently of Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (California, 2015) -  an Ahmanson Foundation Book in the Humanities. His articles appear in the American Historical Review, Perspectives on History, Social History, Journal of Human Rights, Humanity, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and the Huffington Post. He has lived and worked in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Armenia, Iraq and Egypt.

Watenpaugh teaches courses in Human Rights, Genocide, and Humanitarianism.