Princeton University has announced a $10 million gift from two alumni to establish a center for Persian Gulf studies.
The gift from Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, class of '80, and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, class of '74, both of whom majored in economics and received a certificate from the university's Program in Near Eastern Studies, will support a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to understanding Iran and the Persian Gulf, with special attention to the region's significance to the world today. In recognition of the gift, which was made as part of a five-year fundraising campaign that concluded on June 30 after raising $1.88 billion, the new center will be named the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies. Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, an oil and gas executive, currently serves as chair and CEO of RAK Pteroleum in the United Arab Emirates. Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani is chief investment officer in the Private Wealth Management Group at Goldman Sachs.
The center's scholars and students will explore a broad range of topics, including regional and international security, oil and energy markets, and trade and global finance. Faculty members and visiting scholars will conduct research and teach courses that address the history, politics, economics, and culture of the region, from ancient Persia to the modern states that border the Persian Gulf.
"We are very grateful to Sharmin and Bijan for making this center possible," said Princeton president Shirley M. Tilghman. "Both as a university and as a nation, it is essential that we cultivate a fuller understanding of Iran and the other countries of the Persian Gulf, given their rich culture, geopolitical importance, and the troubled history of American-Iranian relations. As technology binds the world more closely together, we must develop the intellectual tools to match this new proximity and to foster in our students a cosmopolitan perspective."