Home - Commissions - Nomadic Peoples - Distinguished Service Award - Dawn Chatty

Dawn Chatty

Recipient of the IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples Distinguished Service Award

by Elliot Fratkin

Dawn Chatty is a social anthropologist at the University of Oxford whose ethnographic interests focus on nomadic pastoral tribes in the Middle East, particularly with Bedouin people. She has been both a researcher of and advocate for displaced and refugee populations of the Middle East, and has long served as the Deputy Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University (1998-2011), initiating a rotating, three-year Directorship in 2011 which she herself first took on between 2011-2014. She has consulted for number of development agencies including the UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, and IFAD.
From 1999 to 2013, Dawn Chatty served as Chair of the Commission on Nomadic People, International Union of Anthropology and Ethnology (IUAES) providing quality years of leadership that helped integrate pastoral studies from the Middle East to Africa to Central Asia. Through organizing panels at the five year congresses and inter-congresses of the IUAES, she helped build the membership and influence of nomad studies.

In 2002 she was the driving force behind the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation and organized two events bringing several dozen representatives of mobile peoples from around the world to take part in the 2006 and 2008 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York. In that same year she was able to finally see the Dana Declaration fully endorsed by the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  In addition, she guided the transition in publication of our journal Nomadic Peoples to White Horse Press.

Dawn Chatty is the author of From Camel to Truck: The Bedouin in the Modern World (1986; 2nd edition 2013); The Current Situation of the Bedouin in Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia (1990), Changing sex roles in Bedouin society in Syria and Lebanon (1990), Mobile Pastoralists: Development Planning and Social Change in Oman (1996), Organizing Women: Informal and Formal Women's Groups in the Middle East (ed. with Annika Rabo, Berg Publishers, 1997), and Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development (ed. with Marcus Colchester, Berghahn, 2002), Dispossession and Displacement in the Modern Middle East(Cambridge University Press 2010), and recently Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State (Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press, 2018).

Dawn Chatty has provided extraordinary commitment to the plight of refugees and displaced people in the Middle East, and to the growth of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples. We are delighted to award Dawn Chatty our first Distinguished Service Award of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples.

IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples Lifetime Achievement was awarded 15 June 2018