Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a businessman and political scientist, is Harvard University scholar, philantropist, TV personality and president of the International American Council on the Middle East . He has been named among top most influential Iranian-Americans. Rafizadeh serves on the boards of Harvard International Review of Harvard International Relations Council at Harvard University and the US-Middle East Chamber of Business and Commerce.
He has earned several graduate degrees including Doctorate (Ph.D) in Government and International Affairs, Masters in Global and International Studies, Masters in Journalism and Communication, Masters in Linguistic and teaching, and Bachelors degree in Linguistic and languages ( concentration: English, Arabic, Persian).
Frequently called upon to brief U.S., EU, and Asian officials regarding US foreign policy and socio-economic, cultural and socio-political affairs of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Rafizadeh also testifies as an expert for courts, advise foreign business corporations and companies ( including those seeking to start business in Iran and the Middle East). He has taught at several universities such as University of California Santa Barbara through Fulbright Teaching scholarship. He has been recipient of several fellowships and scholarships including from Oxford University, Annenberg, and University of California Santa Barbara., and his analysis and research are regularly used to brief various institutions and parliaments including the UK Parliament. Previously he worked at the United Nations, International Committee for Red Cross, and conducted research at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Council on US-Arab Relations.
As a political scientist and scholar, Rafizadeh regularly appears on national and international outlets including CNN, BBC World TV and Radio, ABC, Aljazeera, Fox News, CTV, RT, CCTV America, Skynews, CTV, and France 24 International, to name a few. He is frequently quoted on national and international outlets and he writes for academic and non-academic publications, and contributes to several respected international news outlets, including New York Times International, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Farred zakaria GPS, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The National. Aljazeera, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, The Nation, Jerusalem Post, The Economic Times, USA Today Yale Journal of International Affairs, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and Harvard International Review. Rafizadeh has written more than 1,000 policy briefs and articles.
Rafizadeh is originally from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria. He grew up, worked, and lived most of his life in both Shia and Sunni societies, the Arab and persian world, giving him the first hand experience in understanding the socio-political, socio-economic, cultural and religious landscapes of the Islamic world and the Middle East. Rafizadeh is native speaker of several languages including Arabic and Persian; He is fluent in Dari and English. Other languages include Hebrew and French.
Harvard-educated and best-selling author, Dr. Rafizadeh is also considered a leading expert on Iran, US foreign policy and Middle East, policy analyst, business advisor and a public speaker. He is an award-winning journalist and human rights defender.
He recently came to the US by winning the Fulbright Teaching Scholarship whereas he was the only Iranian citizen of the year to receive the scholarship. He recently became a US citizen. He serves on the board of several national and international organization. He is a TV commentator on US foreign policy and Middle East and the author of several political, novels, or non-fictional books including "US Foreign Policy: Understanding ISIS, the Middle East and the Complexity of the Syrian Civil War" introducing new theoretical and practical methods accessible to readers to analyze the Middle East, "Protecting the Human Rights of Children and Women", "Peaceful Reformation: A Memoir of struggle", "My Mother's Story: A Journey Through Repressions, Poverty, Civil War, Patience and Perservence" advocating for women rights, and the upcoming books "Third World War: The Nuclear War" and "Quran".
As a public and note speaker, he is regularly invited to speak at universities, academic, non-academic and diplomatic conferences including Austrian-American foundation, Total multinational energy (gas and oil) corporation, Milton Wolf Seminar on Diplomacy in Vienna, and conferences on foreign affairs. He has bee invited to speak at more than 300 conferences, seminars and gatherings.
According to CNN, BBC, and multiple national and international outlets, several of Rafizadeh's family members including his father were tortured and killed by Syrian and Iran's intelligence in a campaign to silence Rafizadeh with regards to his outspokenness concerning authoritarian, women rights and non-democratic states.
Rafizadeh is a board member of several significant and influential international, governmental or non-governmental institutions. He is a member of advisory board of Commission on Syrian Refugees, International advisory board member, International advisory board member of USAID Center for Energy studies, and a member of the Gulf 2000 Middle East Project of the Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, to name a few. He served as an ambassador, a senior fellow at Nonviolence International based in Washington DC, and conducted research at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.
Rafizadeh advocates for reformation from within Islam in Iran. In comparison to many Americans and Westerners with Middle eastern origins, Rafizadeh grew up, lived, and worked most of his life in the Middle East and Muslim countries till recently.
His interviews and works have been translated to several languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian and Russian. Dr. Rafizadeh's objective and hope is having a world where all people and creatures regardless of their background could live next to each other in peace.
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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh's Quotes: "Our differences of ethnicity, race, color, and religion may strive to separate us, but most human beings share the same purpose, the same aspirations, and desires, to live a peaceful life. If we all made the choice to surrender self-interest and greed for the sake of unity, then this journey could be pleasant for every creature on earth." "One needs a reason to live for, but more fundamentally a value to die for". "Some lie to get a position, some lie to make more money, some deceive others and feel intelligent. But, at the end of the day, who are they genuinely lying to?" "Fame, money, and position robs you of happiness if you are alone. Happiness comes when you share."