Trita Parsi is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel. In 2021, he was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 50 most influential voices on foreign policy in Washington DC, and preeminent public intellectual Noam Chomsky calls Parsi “one of the most distinguished scholars on Iran.”
His first book, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007), won the silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations. His second book, A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press) was released in early 2012 and was selected by Foreign Affairs journal as the Best Book of 2012 on the Middle East.
Parsi’s latest book – Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy (Yale University Press, 2017) – reveals the behind the scenes story to the historic nuclear deal with Iran.
Parsi was born in Iran but moved with his family at the age of four to Sweden in order to escape political repression in Iran. His father was an outspoken academic who was jailed by the Shah and then by the Ayatollah. He moved to the United States as an adult and studied foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies where he received his Ph.D. under Francis Fukuyama and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
He is the co-founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council. Parsi has followed Middle East politics through work in the field and extensive experience on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. He is frequently consulted by Western and Asian governments on foreign policy matters. Parsi has worked for the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN, where he served in the Security Council, handling the affairs of Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan, and Western Sahara, and in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, addressing human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Iraq.
In addition to his Ph.D., Parsi holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has served as an adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, New York University, and George Washington University, as well as an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and as a Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He currently teaches at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
He is fluent in Persian/Farsi, English, and Swedish. Parsi’s articles on Middle East affairs have been published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, the Nation, The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS’s Newshour, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.