Pardis Mahdavi

Board Member

Pardis Mahdavi is president of the University of La Verne in southern California. Previously, she served as provost and executive vice president at the University of Montana. She also served as dean at Arizona State University and the University of Denver after serving in multiple roles at Pomona College.

A noted author and public speaker, Mahdavi has written seven books, and her work has appeared in two edited volumes and numerous journal and news articles. Her research has focused on gendered labor issues, human trafficking, migration, human rights, and public health in the context of changing global and political structures.

She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named one of Arizona’s Most Intriguing Women of the Decade. She has led the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. She is a former fellow of the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, Google Ideas, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Mahdavi has also served as a consultant to U.S. government agencies, Google, and the United Nations.

She has a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College. She also holds two master’s degrees, one in sociomedical sciences and anthropology and another in international affairs, and a doctorate in philosophy—all from Columbia University.