Afshin Molavi

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Afshin Molavi
Afshin Molavi.jpg
BornTabriz, Iran
OccupationSenior research fellow, journalist, author, analyst
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University SAIS
Notable worksPersian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran
Years active1997–present

Afshin Molavi (Persian : افشین مولوی) is an Iranian-American author and expert on global geo-political risk and geo-economics, particularly the Middle East and Asia. [1] He is co-director of the emerge85 Lab, a joint research initiative between the Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute and UAE-based Delma Institute. [2] He is a senior research fellow at both the New America Foundation and Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, [3] as well as a senior advisor at Oxford Analytica. [4] At New America, he is co-director of the World Economy Roundtable, an exercise to re-map the global economy in the wake of The Great Recession. [5]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Foreign Policy Institute (SAIS) organization

The Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) is an American research center based at The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. The Institute, referred to as FPI, is housed in the Benjamin T. Rome building on the Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., in the United States. FPI organizes research initiatives and study groups, and hosts leaders from around the world as resident or non-resident fellows in fields including international policy, business, journalism, and academia.

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies university

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a division of Johns Hopkins University based in Washington, D.C., United States, with campuses in Bologna, Italy; and Nanjing, China. It is generally considered one of the top graduate schools for international relations in the world. The institution is devoted to the study of international affairs, economics, diplomacy, and policy research and education.


In 2005, he was selected by the World Economic Forum in Davos as a 'Young Global Leader', by a committee of 28 international media leaders chaired by Queen Rania of Jordan. [6]

World Economic Forum Swiss non-profit foundation

The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization. It was granted "other international body" status in January 2015 by the Swiss Federal Government under the Swiss Host-State Act. The WEF's mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".

Queen Rania of Jordan queen consort of Jordan

Rania Al-Abdullah is the queen consort of Jordan. Born in Kuwait to a Palestinian family, she later moved to Jordan for work, where she met the then prince Abdullah. Since marrying the now King of Jordan in 1993, she has become known for her advocacy work related to education, health, community empowerment, youth, cross-cultural dialogue and micro-finance. She is also an avid user of social media and she maintains pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. She has two daughters and two sons and has been awarded various decorations by governments.

Life and career

Molavi holds a master's degree in Middle Eastern history and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he also studied Arabic. [7] [8]

A former Dubai-based correspondent for the Reuters news agency, [9] Tehran-based correspondent for The Washington Post , Riyadh-based business and economics writer for the Arab News , and Washington-based contributor to the Financial Times , Molavi has written widely on the Middle East, US regional policy, geo-economic trends in the Middle East and Asia, and globalization for a wide range of international publications. [10]

Reuters International news organization owned by Thomson Reuters

Reuters is an international news organization. It is a division of Thomson Reuters and has nearly 200 locations around the world. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. It was established in 1851.

<i>The Washington Post</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area. Its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

<i>Arab News</i> newspaper

Arab News is an English-language daily newspaper published in Saudi Arabia. It is published from Riyadh. The target audiences of the paper which is published in broadsheet are businessmen, executives and diplomats.

His articles and op-eds have appeared in The New York Times , Foreign Affairs, National Geographic , BusinessWeek , The New Republic , Foreign Policy , Institutional Investor , the Journal of Commerce , and The Wilson Quarterly . [11] He wrote the 2007 National Geographic cover story on Dubai, entitled "Sudden City." [12] Molavi writes regularly for the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National. [13]

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

<i>The New Republic</i> magazine

The New Republic is an American magazine of commentary on politics and the arts, published since 1914, with influence on American political and cultural thinking. Founded in 1914 by leaders of the progressive movement, it attempted to find a balance between a humanitarian progressivism and an intellectual scientism, and ultimately discarded the latter. Through the 1980s and '90s, the magazine incorporated elements of "Third Way" neoliberalism and conservatism.

<i>Institutional Investor</i> (magazine)

Institutional Investor magazine is a monthly periodical published by Euromoney Institutional Investor. It was founded in 1967 by Gilbert E. Kaplan. A separate international edition of the magazine was established in 1976 for readers in Europe and Asia. Capital Cities Communications purchased the magazine in 1984. The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities in 1996 and sold the magazine to Euromoney a year later. Institutional Investor has offices in New York City, London and Hong Kong.

Previously, Molavi worked at International Finance Corporation, the private-sector development arm of the World Bank, where he headed civil and media outreach for the Middle East/North Africa and Southern Europe/Central Asia regions. [14] [15]

International Finance Corporation

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development. The IFC's stated aim is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by mobilizing financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets, supporting businesses and other private-sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary services to those who are poverty stricken or otherwise vulnerable.

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

As a fellow at the New America Foundation, Molavi studies the geo-politics and geo-economics of the Middle East and Asia, as well as the links between economic development and democratization. He is currently studying the economic implications of "the Arab Spring." He is also examining the "New Silk Road" — the growing trade, cultural, diplomatic, and business ties between the Middle East and Asia. Molavi is also interested in issues related to global economic development, globalization and culture, and the economics of immigration. [16]

He has described "The New Silk Road" at a conference at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on China and the Persian Gulf region, [17] at a World Bank Seminar entitled the East-East Corridor, [18] in an article in the Washington Post entitled "The New Silk Road", [19] and in the pages of The National , where he wrote about "the meeting of West Asia and East Asia." [20]

Molavi's analyses of the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which he believes massive fraud took place, were frequently quoted in the media. [21] [22] He praises the Iranian Constitution of 1906 as progressive and calls for American civil society support for Iranians struggling for freedom. [23]

Molavi frequently supports Iranian-American civic outreach and youth programs. He has publicly supported the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). He was a keynote speaker in 2012 at an annual PAAIA event for the "next generation of leaders". [24]


Molavi is the author of Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran (Norton 2002), which was published in paperback under the title, The Soul of Iran (Norton, 2005). The book was dubbed by Foreign Affairs "a brilliant tableau of today's Iran" [25] and made the list of Fareed Zakaria's CNN GPS recommended books to read on foreign policy. [26]

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