I attended high school in Neishabour, Iran, and then, using a Central Bank scholarship, went to England in 1967 to study economics. I obtained my BSc (Econ) from the University of London in 1971 and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1977. I am currently Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. This academic year (2016-17) I am a visiting scholar at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School.
My previous appointments include Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (1977-84), visiting faculty at the University of Oxford (1991-92), visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2007-08), and Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School (2009-2010). I have served on the Board of Trustees of the Economic Research Forum (2001-2006), a network of Middle East economists based in Cairo. I have been affiliated with the ERF as a Research Fellow since 1993, served on its Board of Trustees and chaired its Advisory Committee. I was Associate Editor of the ERF biannual journal, Middle East Development Journal (2010-2015), which publishes rigorous policy research on the Middle East and North Africa. I have also served on the Board of the Middle East Economic Association.
My research has been in demographic economics, energy economics, and the economics of the Middle East. You can learn more about my research and other writings from my personal web page.