History & Mission


The Center was established in 2012, supported by a generous gift from alumni and Board of Trustees members Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Class of 1980, and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Class of 1974. Launched to promote groundbreaking independent scholarship and teaching, the Center adds a new dimension to programming first inspired by the Pahlavi Fund, which dates to 1969 and exists to promote a new understanding of Iranian society and culture.

Since its inception, the Center has grown to become a vibrant, multidisciplinary space in which students, affiliated faculty members and visiting scholars and artists collaborate, share new ideas and collectively advance the world’s understanding of this vital and globally important region. 


The Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmini Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies supports teaching and research on all aspects of Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University. We employ a comprehensively interdisciplinary approach to advancing the understanding of the region, with special attention to its role and significance in the contemporary world. Our scholars and students explore a broad range of topics that address the history, politics, economics, religion, literature, art and culture of the region, with a primary focus on the modern states that border the Persian Gulf. Promoting a wide-ranging, inclusive approach, the Center creates and supports productive, innovative research projects that facilitate connections to departments throughout the University and beyond.