Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., is Assistant to the President of Villanova University. He was Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2010 to 2015 and served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University from 1985 to 2000. He is Associate Professor of political science at Villanova, a position he has held for almost 35 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. in International Relations with a minor in Middle East History from The Catholic University of America 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 to 1991, and the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon, from 1996 to 2003. In 2010, he was elected to the International Board of Regents for Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, Palestine, 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 1994 and since has consulted with the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut.
Fr. Ellis is currently the Editor of the Journal of South Asian and Middle Easter Studies. He has edited and contributed to four books: The Vatican, Islam and the Middle East (Syracuse, 1987), Lebanon’s Second Republic: Prospects for the Twenty-First Century (University Press of Florida, 2002), and Secular Nationalsim and Citizenship in Muslim Countries: Arab Christians in the Levant (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and Nostra Aetate, Non-Christian Religions and Interfaith Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
Fr. Ellis 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, the autonomous republics of the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.