Ali Riaz is Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and Government. In recognition of his national and international reputation as an expert on South Asian politics and Political Islam, Riaz is designated “University Professor” at Illinois State University. In 2013 he served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at Washington, D.C. He testified at the US Congress on Bangladesh in 2013 and at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2008.
Ali Riaz joined Illinois State University in 2002. Prior to joining Illinois State University he has taught at Claflin University in South Carolina, and the University of Lincoln in England. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh between 1993 and 1995, and a Lecturer between 1984 and 1987. Ali Riaz earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i in 1993 under the East West Center fellowship. He also has MA in Communication and MA in Political Science earned in 1989 and 1991, respectively. He was awarded the ‘East West Center Honor’ Award in 1990. Dr. Riaz was a Research Fellow of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. His research topic was the role of telecommunication in economic growth of Malaysia and Singapore. Dr. Riaz has an extensive experience in journalism. He has worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service for five years, as Producer and Senior Broadcast Journalist. His research interests include Islamist politics, South Asian politics, community development, and political economy of media. He has published in English and in Bengali. His publications in English include Islam and Identity Politics among British-Bangladeshis: A Leap of Faith (Manchester University Press, 2013), Inconvenient Truths About Bangladeshi Politics (Prothoma, 2012), Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (Routledge, 2010), Religion and Politics in South Asia (Routledge, 2010); (Re)reading Taslima Nasrin: contexts, contents & constructions (Shraban Prokashoni, 2010); Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia (Rutgers University Press, 2008) Islamist Militancy in Bangladesh: A Complex Web (Routledge, 2008), Paradise Lost? State Failure in Nepal (with Subho Basu, Lexington Books, 2007), Unfolding State: The Transformation of Bangladesh (de Sitter Publications, 2005), God Willing: The Politics of Islamism in Bangladesh (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), 'State, Class and Military Rule: Political Economy of Martial Law in Bangladesh' (Nadi New Press, 1993). Professor Ali Riaz earned the College of Arts and Sciences first Dean's Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement 2004 and Outstanding College Researcher Award 2005. Riaz received Pi Sigma Alpha Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. Riaz regularly contributes to Bangladeshi and international media on South Asian politics. He appeared on CNN, Al-Jazeera English, LinkTV among other media. He served as consultant to various international agencies. He is the editor of the bi-annual journal, Studies on Asia.