Musa has M.A. degrees in Sociology and Philosophy, and B.A. degrees in Near Eastern Studies and Philosophy. Prior to joining Columbia, he served as an instructor in Government & Public Service at the University of Arizona and managed an academic consortium that studied conflcit in the Middle East.
This eclectic background is reflected in his objects of study: while all Musa's work relates to questions about knowledge, cognition and communication, his research contexts range from terrorism, extremism and war to race, inequality and social movements--and more recently, U.S. political elections.
Musa is also a core member of Heterodox Academy, which aims to enhance the quality and impact of social research by promoting viewpoint diversity, civil disagreement and constructive engagement within institutions of higher learning.
Musa's work has been published and cited in academic journals and textbooks across a range of disciplines. His research is also regularly cited in policy journals and dossiers--to include publications by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army War College, the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC), the Brookings Institute and the RAND Coroporation. Musa's essays have also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic Magazine, Foreign Affairs, Voice of America, Al-Jazeera and many other popular outlets.