Dr. Payam Mohseni is the Director of the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Editor-in-Chief of Visions, Harvard’s leading online publication on all matters pertaining to global Shi’ism. He is also a Lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University and served as a Lecturer on Islamic Studies at the Harvard Divinity School where he teaches Iranian and Middle East politics and is a multiple recipient of the Harvard Excellence in Teaching award. Dr. Mohseni is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York.
Dr. Mohseni’s research focuses on Iranian foreign and domestic politics, Shi’a thought and identity, Islam and sectarian conflict in the Middle East, and the politics of authoritarianism and hybrid regimes. Dr. Mohseni is fluent in Persian and travels frequently to Iran and the region. His analysis has been featured in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, The National Interest, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Bloomberg, U.S. News and World Report, and MSNBC, among others, including prominent international and Iranian media outlets.
Previously, Dr. Mohseni served as the Director of the Iran Project at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and co-chaired Harvard’s Iran Working Group with Professor Graham Allison. He was additionally the Editor-in-Chief of the Belfer Center’s Special Initiative Iran Matters, an online publication on contemporary Iranian affairs. Dr. Mohseni also co-chaired Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies Study Group on the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Belfer Center’s International Security Program, a Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, and a member of the Iran Study Group at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, an M.A. in Conflict, Security, and Development from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.