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Open Society Institute Statement on the Detention of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh

Press Release by Open Society Institute

NEW YORK—Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, 45, is a distinguished scholar and an American citizen. He is a consultant for the Open Society Institute and has also worked for other international organizations including The World Bank and a European urban planning organization, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities.

Dr. Tajbakhsh was detained in Iran on or about May 11.

Kian Tajbakhsh

OSI retained his services in 2004 as a consultant to facilitate public health, humanitarian assistance and urban planning projects that we undertook openly and with the knowledge of the Iranian government. Dr.Tajbakhsh holds a doctorate in urban planning from Columbia University and was a professor at The New School in New York City for seven years and is currently a senior research fellow there.

We are concerned for his safety and call for his immediate release.

About: The Open Society Institute, a private operating and grantmaking foundation established by George Soros, works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve its mission, OSI seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. OSI works in over 60 countries including the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

elated Material:

Kian Tajbakhsh - Bio  (source:
Kian Tajbakhsh is a social scientist and urban planner. He has worked as a consultant in the areas of local government reform, urban planning and social policy, and has taught at  universities in the US and in Iran. He has worked with several organizations including Iran’s Municipalities Organization, the Social Security Organization, and international organizations such as the World Bank and the Dutch Association of Municipalities. His academic research examines the evolving nature of Iranian state institutions and the policy making process. He is the author of two books and over twenty academic papers. In 2006, he completed a three year study of the local government sector in Iran. From 1994 until 2001, Dr. Tajbakhsh taught Urban Policy and Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He received his M.Sc. from University College, London in 1984, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1993.

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