Professor Philip S. Khoury was born and raised in Washington, DC, and educated at the Sidwell Friends School, Trinity College, and Harvard University. He joined the MIT History Faculty in 1981 and is currently the Ford International Professor of History. He served as dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences between 1991 and 2006, became Kenan Sahin Dean in 2002, and Associate Provost in 2006.

Professor Khoury is a political and social historian of the Middle East. Among his publications are Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism (Cambridge University Press); Syria and the French Mandate (Princeton University Press), which received the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association; Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East (University of California Press); The Modern Middle East: A Reader (Palgrave/MacMillan); and Recovering Beirut: Urban Design and Post-war Reconstruction (Brill).

Professor Khoury is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History and the advisory board of Historical Abstracts. In 1985, he established the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar at MIT, a leading public forum for the examination of contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. He is chairman of the American University of Beirut Board of Trustees, chairman of the World Peace Foundation, and vice chairman of the Trinity College Board of Trustees. He is also a trustee of the National Humanities Center and the Toynbee Prize Foundation, and overseer of Koç University in Istanbul.

Professor Khoury has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright-Hays Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, and Thomas J. Watson Foundation. He is an honorary member of the MIT Alumni Association.