Khalil Derbel

Khalil Derbel
Teaching Instructor in Arabic
Rome Hall
801 22nd St NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Khalil Derbel joined the Arabic language faculty at The George Washington University in the fall semester of 2021 as Teaching Instructor in Arabic.  He comes with a long and varied vita in higher education and also in the realm of diplomacy within the United States Government (USG).  For the past ten years, while Tunisia was going through a major democratic transition, he served as the American Embassy’s Senior Political Specialist. Prior to this, he did a one-year stint at the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) regional office, serving eleven countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where he worked as a grant specialist.  Khalil Derbel spent, however, the bulk of his USG-career as an Arabic Language and Culture Instructor at the Arabic Field School in Tunis, a branch of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Earlier in his career, Mr. Derbel started out as teacher of Tunisian Arabic with the Peace Corps and the Tunis-based Swedish organization Association de Coopération en Tunisie (ACT). In addition, he tutored American diplomats part-time.

Khalil Derbel has earned the reputation of being one of the most capable instructors in the history of the Arabic Field School. He contributed to training dozens of diplomats, many of whom are today ambassadors and high-ranking diplomats.  Over the years at the Field School, he contributed to curriculum development and testing and is committed to an immersion approach in the learning of modern foreign languages. He holds a firm belief in teaching Arabic history, and more widely Arabic culture, in order to help his students understand the depth and long history of the Arabic language. As a teacher, Khalil Derbel is the recipient of many State Department awards, including several Meritorious Honor Awards and one Service Increase Award. As a political specialist, he also earned frequent recognition and received many awards attesting to his contributions and professional achievements.

A native of Tunisia, Khalil Derbel earned a B.A. in English, as well as an M.A. in the English Language and Literature from the University of Letters, Arts and Humanities of Tunis. Most recently, he received an M.A. in Public Management from the European University of Tunis. Instructor Derbel Speaks Arabic, English and French and also took Spanish and Russian courses within the university.