Kate Seelye is vice president for arts and culture at the Middle East Institute (MEI), where she oversees the management of MEI’s Arts and Culture Center and its core asset, the MEI Art Gallery. Launched in September 2019, the MEI Art Gallery is Washington, DC’s only gallery of contemporary and modern art, video and photography from the Middle East dedicated to showing high quality, thought-provoking art ranging from Morocco to Afghanistan. Seelye has held other positions over her ten years at MEI, including as vice president for programs and communications and as senior vice president. She also currently manages MEI’s communications department.
Prior to joining MEI in 2009, Seelye worked as a radio and television journalist covering the Arab world for nearly ten years from her base in Beirut, Lebanon for U.S. and British radio and television programs, including National Public Radio, PRI’s The World, Frontline/World on PBS and the UK investigative documentary show, Unreported World on Channel 4. Prior to that, she was a producer for the PBS Newshour based in Los Angeles and began her broadcast career at Marketplace Radio.
In 2004, Seelye was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to research the history of the Arab-American relationship. That same year, she received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Amherst College, for her efforts to increase American understanding of the Middle East. She is the recipient of several journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for NPR’s team coverage of the war on Iraq. She also serves on the boards of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University and the American Tunisian Association. Seelye grew up in the Middle East and has lived and worked in the region for more than 20 years.