Lai Yee Leong

Fellow, John G. Tower Center for Political Studies


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Dr. LaiYee Leong is a Fellow at SMU's John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and the SMU Center for Presidential History. She received her B.A. in English (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. Her scholarship deals with Islamic groups and ideological change in the context of democratization. A recent publication on religion and the state in Indonesia appears in a volume titled Sacred Matters, Stately Concerns: Essays on Faith and Politics in Asia (2014). Dr. Leong teaches in the SMU Master of Liberal Arts program and also occasional Continuing and Professional Education courses that are open to the public. She has taught undergraduate courses in Comparative Politics, the Politics of Southeast Asia, the Politics of the Middle East, and the Politics of Islam. Leong was formerly a television news journalist in Singapore.

Education and Honors

  • Ph.D., Political Science, Yale University
  • M.A., Political Science, Yale University
  • B.A., English, Yale University