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Vali R. Nasr

Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs


Vali Nasr is the Majid Khadduri Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He served as the eighth Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS between 2012 and 2019 and served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke between 2009 and 2011.
Nasr is the author of The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat; Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World; The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future; Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty; Islamic Leviathan, Islam and the Making of State Power; Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism; and Vanguard of Islamic Revolution: Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan; and numerous articles in scholarly journals.
He has advised senior American policymakers, world leaders, and businesses, including the President, Secretary of State, senior members of the Congress, and presidential campaigns. He has written for New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others.
He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, the International Board of Advisors at the American University of Beirut, and the Board of Advisors of Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He has been the recipient of grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council, and was named a 2006 Carnegie Scholar.
He received his BA from Tufts University in International Relations summa cum laude and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. He earned his master's from the Fletcher School of Law in and Diplomacy in international economics and Middle East studies in 1984, and his PhD from MIT in political science in 1991.

Nasr, V. (2016). The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future. W. W. Norton & Company

Nasr, V. (2014). The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat. Anchor.

Nasr, V. (2009). Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World. Free Press

Gheissari, A and Nasr, V. (2006). Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty. Oxford University Press

Nasr, V. (2001). Islamic Leviathan, Islam and the Making of State Power. Oxford University Press

Nasr, V. (1996). Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism. Oxford University Press

Nasr, V. (1994). Vanguard of Islamic Revolution: Jama’at-i Islami of Pakistan. University of California Press






  • Iran
  • Middle East
  • Pakistan
  • South Asia


  • American Foreign Policy
  • International Relations
  • Islamic Religion, Culture and Law
  • Nation-building and Democratization


  • Persian

In the News

Biden needs a new Pakistan policy. This is what it should look like.

Vali Nasr wrote for Atlantic Council, 02/10

Principles for strengthening global cooperation.

Vali Nasr cited in Modern Diplomacy, 01/22

Joe Biden will have to address the war in Afghanistan—again.

Vali Nasr quoted in The New Yorker, 01/20

Trouble at home may change Biden's hand in Iran nuke talks.

Vali Nasr quoted in Associated Press, 01/18

U.S.-Middle East relations.

Vali Nasr participated in George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government webinar, 01/08

Recalibration of mutual interests.

Vali Nasr cited in The Express Tribune, 12/31

Recovering and rebuilding from 2020.

Vali Nasr participated in World Economic Forum webinar, 12/15

Biden, Trump, and the view from Asia.

Vali Nasr interviewed on Asia Society’s Asia In-Depth podcast, 11/12

Iran and the U.S.: The long and arduous diplomatic road.

Vali Nasr wrote for Royal United Services Institute, 10/30