Sara M. Roy earned an Ed.D. with a specialization in International Development from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education in 1988.
Roy spent time doing dissertation fieldwork in Israel and in the Gaza Strip as a research assistant to the third West Bank Data Base Project. This was a non-official survey led by Meron Benvenisti, whose goal was to examine the impact of Israel's national unity coalition government on the West Bank and to a lesser extent Gaza Roy prepared a background paper about the Gaza Strip for the Project in 1986, before submitting, in 1988, her doctoral thesis entitled Development under occupation: a study of United States government economic development assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 1975-1985.
Roy is also the author of The Gaza Strip Survey (1986) and The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De‐development (1995, 2001), now in its second edition with a third edition forthcoming. She is the editor of The Economics of Middle East Peace: A Reassessment (1999). Her 2011 study of Hamas, political Islam and the Islamic social sector in Gaza won a 2012 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies.
Of The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De‐development, Meron Benvenisti, Former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, wrote, "Sara Roy's pioneering research . . . gives the lie to pretenses that Gaza's conditions suddenly arose out of thin air."
Of Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Edward Said, the influential cultural critic and author, wrote, "The special thing about Sara Roy's writing is its combination of very high quality research—in this no one matches her—with an equally high level of personal integrity and commitment."
Roy's work has appeared in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Current History, Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, International Journal of Middle East Studies, The Beirut Review, American Political Science Review, Critique, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago Journal of International Law, Index on Censorship, La Vanguardia, Le Monde Diplomatique and the London Review of Books, as well as in The Lancet.
Most recently, she authored the piece, "Gaza: Treading on Shards," in The Nation magazine.
Roy has served on the Advisory Boards of American Near East Refugee Aid and the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University and on the Board of Directors of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program - U.S. branch.
In addition to her academic work, Roy has served as a consultant to international organizations, the U.S. government, human rights organizations, private voluntary organizations, and private business groups working in the Middle East.
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