Dr. Lob is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations. His research focuses on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East. It specifically explores how state and non-state actors in the region instrumentalize development as a soft power mechanism to further their political interests both domestically and internationally. Lob is currently working on a book project entitled Construction Jihad: Rural Development and Regime Consolidation in Revolutionary Iran (1979-2013). Based on interviews and archival research in Iran, the book examines how the Islamic Republic mobilized activists and promoted development in the countryside to consolidate power against its internal and external opponents. The project is based on Lob's 2013 dissertation at Princeton University entitled "An Institutional History of the Iranian Construction Jihad: From Inception to Institutionalization (1979-2011)." In 2014, the dissertation won the Foundation for Iranian Studies annual award for best dissertation and honorable mention for the International Society for Iranian Studies biannual Mashayekhi Dissertation Award.
Lob currently teaches courses on comparative politics and international relations of the Middle East and on political violence and revolution. Before joining the faculty at Florida International University, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies. Between 2009 and 2011, Lob conducted fieldwork and studied Persian in Iran. He also studied Arabic at Georgetown and Damascus Universities between 2005 and 2007.