Vice President for Continuing Education, Workforce Development, and Strategic Community Partnerships & Professor of International Politics at The City University of New York/Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York.
Education: Ph.D., with Honors, in International Relations from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Biography: Reza has had a long-standing and passionate commitment to promoting and defending human rights. This interest began in his years as a dissident in Iran where he was arrested under the Shah’s regime for possessing testimonies of political prisoners and banned books—coming to know fear and repression first-hand. Since starting his career in higher education in the U.S. and becoming a college leader, he has intensified this dedication by educating his students for engaged democratic citizenship; by conceiving and successfully implementing civic and global engagement programs; by lecturing and writing about the imperative of global citizenship; and by planning strategic community initiatives that emphasize equitable and inclusive economic growth.
Reza was elected to the AIUSA Board in 2014 and served for three years as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of Governance Committee. He currently chairs the AIUSA Human Rights Working Group on Strategy and Impact.
Relatedly, Reza actively serves on the National Steering Committee of The Democracy Commitment, as Secretary of the Board of Global Citizenship Alliance, on the Advisory Council of the Aspen Institute’s Wye Seminar, on the Editorial Advisory Board of AAC&U’s Liberal Education, and on the International Advisory Board of GlobalMindEd. Locally, He served on the founding Steering Committee of Dream.US—a national scholarship for undocumented college-bound youth (Dreamers) and as a Board member and then the Chair of the Board of Student World Assembly for many years. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Reza has been trained in a number of national executive leadership workshops and brings extensive experience in shared governance, grants development, fundraising, strategic planning, outcomes/impact assessment, resource allocation, personnel management, diversity recruitment, technology integration, branding/marketing, forging partnerships, and speaking on pressing international issues. Reza received the Distinguished College Administrator Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society in 2013.
Currently, Reza is adjunct Research Manager for Ph.D. student fellows at the “Emerging Threats 21: Resilience and Sustainability of Global Institutions Program” at Rutgers University. He has also taught at Fordham University, LaGuardia Community College, Vassar College, International Pacific College in New Zealand, and has been a visiting faculty at Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria.
He frequently speaks and writes about the imperative of global, intercultural, and interreligious understanding and engagement in our rapidly globalizing and highly interdependent world. His recent article on “Educating for Religious Pluralism and Inclusive Citizenship” appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Diversity & Democracy.