Barbara Lethem Ibrahim is founding director of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, established in 2006 at the American University in Cairo. Prior to that, she served for 14 years as regional director for West Asia and North Africa at the Population Council. In 1990, she was a senior research associate at the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the City University of New York. From 1982 to 1990, she was program officer at the Ford Foundation regional office in Cairo, responsible for programs in urban poverty, micro-enterprise leading, and gender studies.
Ibrahimís publications are in the field of women's unemployment, youth transitions to adulthood, gender and health, and Arab philanthropy. In 1999, she was inducted into the International Educatorsí Hall of Fame. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Middle East Womenís Studies in 2003. Ibrahim earned an MA in sociology from the American University of Beirut in 1975, and a PhD in sociology from Indiana University in 1980.