Nayereh Tohidi is a Professor and former Chair at the Department of Gender & Women Studies and founding Director of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at California State University, Northridge. She is also a Research Associate at the Center for Near Eastern Studies of UCLA where she has been coordinating the Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran since 2003.
Professor Tohidi earned her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS (with Honors) from the University of Tehran in Psychology and Sociology. She is the recipient of several grants, fellowships and research awards, including a year of Fulbright lectureship and research at the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan; post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University; Stanford University; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Keddie-Balzan Fellowship at the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA; and a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to develop the MEIS Program. She has held visiting positions at Universities of Iowa, Minnesota, Harvard, UCLA, and USC.
Tohidi’s publications include many articles and also editorship or authorship of three books: Globalization, Gender and Religion: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts; Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity within Unity; and Feminism, Democracy and Islamism in Iran. Some of her publications have been translated into several languages and used in universities in different countries.
Dr. Tohidi has integrated her human/women’s rights activism with excellence in academic work and scholarship. Tohidi has served as a consultant to the United Nations on projects concerning gender and development, and women and civil society building in the Middle East and post-Soviet Eurasia. She represented women NGOs at both the third and fourth World Conferences on Women in Nairobi and Beijing sponsored by the United Nations. She is also consulted by the media on women’s issues in the greater Middle East, such as BBC, VOA, LA Times, Radio Farda, and openDemocracy.