Source: The HAND Foundation
“Having been raised in a region where people are suffering from misguided economic policies,” explains Maliheh Birjandi-Feriz, a first year PhD candidate in economics at Yale University, “I realized that development and economics are not about statistics and math, rather they are about people and their livelihood.” This kind of thinking along with the motivation to turn ideas into research projects is exactly what PARSA Community Foundation had in mind when they awarded Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a $300,000 grant in 2010 to develop a new academic course centered on Iran. In addition to the new course, the PARSA grant helped boost the enrolment of Iranian and Persian-speaking students who would become part of a cadre of emerging leaders who have both a broad-based problem-solving skills and a global perspective. Birjandi-Feriz was the quintessential candidate for the PARSA Community Foundation Scholarship at Fletcher, and she earned her masters degree from the Fletcher School in Development Economics and International Environment and Resource Policy.
At Fletcher, Birjandi-Feriz quickly distinguished herself from the rest of her cohort. At the end of her first year, the faculty awarded her with the Robert B. Stewart Prize for her excellent academic achievements and her extracurricular involvement on campus. During her masters program, Birjandi-Feriz worked at the World Bank’s Office of The Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa region, at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, and the World Resources Institute where she received further accolades for her extraordinary work. Now at Yale, Birjandi-Feriz plans on investigating ways to make development-linked research easily accessible to policymakers. Birjandi-Feriz’s academic trajectory not only aligns with the aim of the Fletcher scholarship, but also with The HAND Foundation’s goal of supporting the growth of the global middle class.
MISSION: The HAND Foundation's mission is to advance the philanthropic sector, prevent child sexual abuse, build a global middle class and prepare and engage the Next Generation. (read more)
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