George Anton Kiraz, Ph.D.
George is the President and co-founder of Gorgias Press. Born in Bethlehem, he immigrated to the United States and attended California State University, Northridge, where he obtained a degree in Engineering in 1990. He then obtained an M.St. degree in Syriac Studies at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford in 1991. Wishing to combine his technical background with his passion for Syriac and Semitic languages, he joined the University of Cambridge where he obtained an M.Phil. in Computational Linguistics and a Ph.D. in the same. He wrote his thesis on computing the morphology of Arabic and Syriac which was later published by Cambridge University Press.
In 1996, George became a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, NJ, where he worked on speech technology. In 2000, he was hired by Nuance Communications, a speech technology startup, to help establish and lead a New York branch of the company. This gave George tremendous experience in management, but was short lived due to the stock market crash of 2001.
Already a published author, George co-founded Gorgias Press along with his wife Christine in 2001. The press was announced to the public in the summer of 2001 at the Leiden Peshitta conference, and later to a larger public in November 2001 with 10 books in the Press’s catalog. Within a short period of time, the press grew at a rate of publishing about 50 titles per year.
George has taught Syriac in Princeton, Rutgers, the POLIS Institute (Jerusalem) and runs an annual Syriac Summer School at Beth Mardutho.
George is married to Christine and together they have three children, Tabetha Gabriella, Sebastian Kenoro and Lucian Nurono. In his free time (whatever is left of it), George directs Beth Mardutho, The Syriac Institute. His hobbies include collecting printed types, reading, and writing.
Melonie Schmierer-Lee, Ph.D.
Senior Acquisitions Editor
In 2012 Melonie gained her PhD in the historical linguistics of Aramaic from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include the linguistic and sociolinguistic background to Eastern Aramaic, and the Aramaic and Hebrew documentary material (letters and legal documents) from the Cairo Genizah.
When not reviewing manuscript submissions, Melonie can be found reading the Guardian, getting to grips with hen-keeping, and gardening.
Acquisitions Editor (Islamic History & Thought)
Born on the Scottish Borders, and now based in the United Kingdom, Adam studied Arabic at the University of Leeds (UK) and the University of Suez Canal (Egypt). He also holds a degree in Law (Leeds) and is approaching the end of an MA in Theology and Religion (specialism Islamic studies) at Radboud University (the Netherlands). Adam has a specific interest in Islamic history during the Late Antique period and intends to pursue a PhD in this area on completion of his Masters degree. Adam has a background in publishing and research, having most recently worked as a researcher in classical Islamic history at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany). When not sitting beside a stack of dusty Arabic manuscripts, Adam can be found trying to teach his son how to play football (soccer!), travelling and baking cakes!
Acquisitions Editor (Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East, & Jewish Studies)
Brice C. Jones
Acquisitions Editor (Early Christianity & Patristics)
Acquisitions Editor (Iranian Studies)
Dan Beckman is a New Jersey native. He earned his BA in History at The College of New Jersey, and his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA in 2017. He specializes in pre-Islamic Iranian history, and his academic interests cover the breadth of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds, including philology, epigraphy, and historiography. He has published on many aspects of Greco-Iranian interaction, particularly in the Achaemenid period. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University. Outside of academia, Dan is a father, a husband, a very amateur woodworker, and, at some point, he will start rock climbing again.
Tuomas was born and raised in Finland, where he developed a healthy interest in Biblical studies, ancient languages, and Gnosticism during the 1990s. He holds a ThD in Biblical studies from the University of Helsinki and a PhD from Université Laval, Canada. In his first book, Paradise Reconsidered in Gnostic Mythmaking(Brill, 2009), Tuomas argued for a complete revamping of Sethian Gnostic history and textual corpus. He has continued to publish in early Christianity, second-temple Judaism, and Greek philosophy, and has taught at various European and Canadian universities since 2005. In his spare time, Tuomas plays the guitar (with his son on drums!), cooks, and enjoys sci-fi.
Gemma gained her PhD in Archaeology and Museum studies in 2010 from the University of Southampton, UK. Her research interests include heritage management and museology with a specific focus on community engagement with the archaeology of Egypt, Sudan, and the Middle East. Gemma has a background in research and heritage publications having recently worked for Durham University and the University of Cambridge on archaeological outreach projects. When not working for Gorgias Press or carrying out her own research, Gemma enjoys playing the ukulele, digging her veggie garden, and walking her dog.
Joan completed her BS in Computer Science and a minor in Business Administration at the University of Delaware. After working several years programming for Unisys, she and her husband went into missionary work with college students, first at SUNY Buffalo and then at Rutgers University. Leaving after 17 years to pursue other opportunities, Joan picked up various part-time jobs while continuing to take care of their household of 8. Between teaching special-needs children, sales, teaching fitness classes, dabbling in web design with search engine optimization, and her daily household schedule, she is a natural at addressing many competing, simultaneous demands. In her spare time, Joan likes to spend time with her family, run, swim, make jewelry, and read.
Melissa received her BFA from Cornell University, where she concentrated in new media art and minored in game design. She finds her inspiration in stories, nature, and all creatures great and small. In her free time, Melissa collects art supplies, nurtures an interest in philosophy and theology, dabbles in abstract photography, and tries unrelentingly to win her cat's affection. She also designs and sews whimsical plush toys.
Jack Tannous, Ph.D.
Honorary Acquisitions Advisor
Jack Tannous was born and raised in Houston, Texas. For his BA, he attended the University of Texas, at Austin, where he majored in Philosophy, Arabic, Middle Eastern Studies and History. After UT, Jack attended Oxford, where he recieved a MPhil in Eastern Christian Studies and represented Gorgias Press at academic conferences in the UK. He did his PhD at Princeton and was a frequent visitor at George and Christine's house, as well as the GP offices in Piscataway; he always loved the people, the books, and of course, Christine's great food. After Princeton, he lived in Washington, DC for two years as a post-doc at Dumbarton Oaks. As part of that post-doc, he taught at George Washington University as well. He is now an assistant professor in the History Department at Princeton and is interested in Late Antique, early Islamic, and Byzantine history in the Near East.
Jack started working for Gorgias not too long after the company was founded. Over the course of nearly a decade, he has been a number of things: an employee, an acquisitions specialist, and a constant emailer of George, but most of all, he has been a big fan.