Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., is Assistant to the President of Villanova University. Previously, he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Villanova University, from 2010 to 2015 and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University and Associate Professor of political science, a position he held for almost 25 years. He is also the founder-director of Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies which he directed from 1983 to 1998. A member of the Augustinian Order, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1967.
Fr. Ellis received his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in International Relations with a minor in Middle East History in 1979. He holds Master’s degrees in political science and theology. He served as a member and chair of the Board of Trustees of Merrimac College, North Andover, Massachusetts, from 1989-1991, and the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon, from 1996-2003. In 2010 he was elected to the International Board of Regents for Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, the Palestine Authority, and currently is chair of the Board Academic Policy Committee. He was also an evaluator of the arts and sciences program for Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, the Palestine Authority in 1994 and since has consulted with the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut.
Fr. Ellis is currently co-Editor of the Journal of South Asian and Middle Easter Studies and has edited and contributed to two books, The Vatican, Islam and the Middle East, (Syracuse, 1987), and Lebanon’s Second Republic, Prospects for the Twenty-First Century, (University Press of Florida, 2002). He has also presented papers, published articles and contributed book chapters on such topics as “United States policy in Lebanon,” “Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Alternating Approaches,” “Soviet Relations with South Asia and the Middle East,” “Superpower Relations with Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan,” “Vatican II and Contemporary Islam,” and “The Role of Minorities in the Formation of Modern Lebanon.” He has traveled in the Middle East, Western Europe, as well as to Russia, Pakistan and the autonomous republics of the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.