Nassef is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort) formed in 2012, PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization) created in 2015, and DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network) initiated in 2019. He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations and explores research studies on various policy, legal and legislative topics about the Bangsamoro communities. A former Associate Professor and UP Scientist at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and presently the Director of the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) of the Bangsamoro Parliament.
In late 2021, Nassef was commended on a resolution adopted by the Bangsamoro Parliament citing his honors and distinctions as exemplary for the entire Bangsamoro young populace. Prior to the approval of the resolution, he earned the highest rank of “UP Scientist III” and conferred the “Centennial Professorial Chair” by the University of the Philippines Diliman and the “Professorial Chair in Political Science and International Relations” by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Beyond academia, he was honored as one of the TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men & Women) awardees of the JCI Philippines and one of the Most Outstanding Alumni of the University of the East.
Aside from the distinctions mentioned above, he embarked on creating the following publication platforms of which he serves as the founding editor-in-chief:
– International Journal of Islam in Asia (Brill Publishers)
– Islam and Global Studies series (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer)
– International Relations in Southeast Asia series (Routledge)
– Islam in Southeast Asia series (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer)
– Islam in the Philippines series (IIUM Press)
– Archived (no longer active): Islam and International Relations series (Gerlach Press)
Nassef co-edited International Studies in the Philippines: Mapping New Frontiers in Theory and Practice (2020), Islam in International Relations: Politics and Paradigms (2018), Islam and International Relations: Contributions to Theory and Practice (2016), and edited International Relations and Islam: Diverse Perspectives (2013). His articles appeared in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies, Springer’s Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, Oxford Islamic Studies Online, Islamic Perspective Journal, The Quarterly Journal of Political Studies of Islamic World, The Journal of Islamic Governance, Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, etc. He sits as editorial board member of the Global Studies Quarterly (OUP), International Journal of Religion (TPL), Sociological Research Online (SAGE), etc., and had reviewed articles for the Journal of Law and Religion (CUP), Foreign Policy Analysis (OUP), Critical Research on Religion (SAGE), Millennium: Journal of International Studies (SAGE), among others.
In building his international academic networks, he was elected as (1) Member-At-Large at ISA Asia Pacific Region in 2021, as (2) Governing Board officer of the World International Studies Committee in 2020, and as (3) the 2022-2023 Secretary/Communications Director and former 2018-2020 At-Large South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Representative of the ISA Global South Caucus of International Studies (GSCIS). In addition, Nassef was appointed as one of the 7-committee members on the ISA Status of Representation and Diversity (CSRD) in 2018. In sustaining his scholarship growth, he [is/was]:
- served briefly as Madrasah Education Adviser and principal reviewer of policies on madrasah education project at the Palladium’s Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao;
- a member of the GCERF Country Support Mechanism with Philippines’ DILG’s PCVE Project Management Office;
- a supervising fellow and research fellow of the graduate school of the Development Academy of the Philippines;
- a former Chevening fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies;
- a country expert at V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy project;
- a member of the Multi-Sector Advisory Board of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines;
- a former SUSI (Study of the United States Institutes) scholar on religious pluralism at the Dialogue Institute of the Temple University;
- a member of the Scientific Committee of the 7th International ILEM Summer School;
- a former bursary recipient of the online course on “Muslims and Jews: The Historical and Contemporary Encounter” provided by the WOOLF Institute in Cambridge, UK.
It is in the university where his decolonial ideas led him in the creation of the UP CIDS Decolonial Studies Program. He was also an affiliate faculty member of the UP Center for International Studies and a former co-convener of the UP CIDS Islamic Studies Program. He taught part-time at Miriam College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Beda University, Philippine Christian University, and Far Eastern University.
Nassef obtained his PhD in International Relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and was supported by the European Union’s EACEA Erasmus Mundus Mobility with Asia scholarship and by a TÜBİTAK fellowship from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. He also completed the coursework for the PhD in Civilization Studies as TÜRGEV scholar at the Alliance of Civilizations Institute of the Ibn Haldun University but did not pursue to write a second dissertation. Previous degree programs he completed were Master in International Studies (with the support of UP Presidential and Willy Keng scholarships) at the University of the Philippines Diliman and BA in International Studies (with the support of university and local government scholarships) at the University of the East in Manila. His formative years of learning started at the Trinity University of Asia (formerly Trinity College of Quezon City).