Executive Director

Dr. Abdoul Aziz Gaye is an American, Canadian, and Senegalese citizen who embraces multiculturalism in all aspects of life, and has lived with immigrants and refugees in several countries in the Middle East, Europe, and North America over nearly 3 decades.  Growing up in multilingual Senegal, speaking Wolof and French, he began his lifelong journey studying the Arabic language as a small child. He continued his higher education in Saudi Arabia, earning his Licence (Bachelor’s) in Arabic Language from the University of Medina, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Arabic for Non-Native Speakers from King Saud University.

He then spent 12 years in Europe to receive a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Arabic Language, Literature, and Civilization from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Gaye co-founded the Timbuktu Institute for Peace Studies in Dakar, Senegal, to address the issue of violent extremism in Africa; he served as their Director of Research for two years. Dr. Gaye was the founding director of the Center for Advanced Research on Violent Extremism (CARVE), in Ottawa, Canada, which sought to develop solutions at community, social service, and government levels.

In the US, Dr. Gaye has taught Arabic language at Pennsylvania State University and at Monroe Community College; and has taught World Religions and Arabic at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. He has published several articles in English, Arabic, and French, ranging from peer-reviewed academic papers addressing violent jihadism to opinion pieces on current events.

He is enthusiastic about bringing his diverse experience, expertise, and compassion to RHR.