A Photo of Morvarid Guiv and her husband Rustam Guiv

Zoroastrian Studies Graduate Fellowship established at UCLA

A Photo of Morvarid Guiv and her husband Rustam Guiv

Morvarid Guiv and her husband Rustam Guiv

Thanks to a gift in 2018 from the Trust of Morvarid Guiv, the Morvarid Guiv Graduate Fellowship in Zoroastrian Studies has been established in UCLA’s Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World. Named after the late Iranian philanthropist Morvarid Guiv, the fellowship will support graduate students studying the Zoroastrian religion, its ancient history, languages, and scriptures. The gift secured additional matching support from the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match program.

The Zoroastrian religion is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world and was the dominant faith of the Iranian World (including Asia Minor and Central Asia) prior to the rise of Islam. The fellowship enables UCLA’s long-established doctoral Program of Iranian Studies to attract and train new generations of experts exploring the many facets of this influential, ancient Iranian religion that continues to thrive today—further reinforcing UCLA as the premier destination for scholars working on ancient Iran.

“It is a great privilege to host this timely fellowship that so wholly complements the mission and aspirations of the Pourdavoud Center and its eminent eponym,” said M. Rahim Shayegan, Director of the Pourdavoud Center. “The Morvarid Guiv Graduate Fellowship will not only strengthen the study of ancient Iran at UCLA, but also ensure that future generations of scholars pursue research in the languages and history of this remarkable religion.”

Born in Iran, Morvarid Guiv and her husband Rustam Guiv were successful businesspeople who helped Zoroastrian communities by building schools, low-income residential projects, and Zoroastrian community centers. When they immigrated to the U.S., they founded Zoroastrian community centers in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Graduate students awarded the fellowship will benefit from the presence of a strong faculty specializing in ancient Iran and the ancient world at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and from the unparalleled resources of the Pourdavoud Center, the first research institution in the Western hemisphere that aims to advance the knowledge of ancient Iranian languages, history and religions. Named for the late Professor Ebrahim Pourdavoud, a pioneering scholar of ancient Persia, the Pourdavoud Center aims to engage in transformative research on all aspects of Iranian antiquity, including its reception in the medieval and modern periods, by expanding on the traditional domains of Old Iranian studies and promoting cross-cultural and interdisciplinary scholarship. Professor Pourdavoud was the first scholar to translate the Avesta, the Zoroastrian sacred scriptures, into Persian.

Photo of Dr. Amuzegar

Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Iranian Studies

UCLA has launched a national and international search for a top post-doctoral scholar who will be the inaugural recipient of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Iranian Studies.

The Amuzegar Fellow, who may be appointed for up to two years, will be housed in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC). The Amuzegar Fellow will conduct original research, develop and teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and participate in academic programs hosted by the NELC department, the Program of Iranian Studies, the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World in the Division of Humanities, as well as other affiliated departments and centers at UCLA.

The Amuzegar Fellowship was established in 2015 following a gift of $1 million by UCLA alumnus Dr. Jahangir Amuzegar, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 98.

Photo of Dr. Amuzegar

Dr. Amuzegar

“The fellowship established in memory of Dr. Jahangir Amuzegar, a remarkable scholar, stateman, and UCLA alumnus, greatly honors us. It substantially enriches Iranian Studies at UCLA, while providing emerging scholars the leisure to pursue innovative and consequential research on Modern Iran,” said M. Rahim Shayegan, Director of the Pouradvoud Center.

Dr. Amuzegar was an economist and former Iranian government official who served as Iran’s ambassador-at-large to the United States from 1963 to 1979. He was also a member of the board of the International Monetary Fund and a special advisor to the IMF director from 1979 to 1984. Previously, he had served as Iran’s minister of commerce and minister of finance in the early 1960s, and as chairman of the National Iranian Oil Company.

Dr. Amuzegar wrote widely on Iran’s economy and politics and was the author of several books, including “The Islamic Republic of Iran: Reflections on an Emerging Economy” (2014), “Managing Oil Wealth” (1999), “Iran’s Economy Under the Islamic Republic” (1993) and “The Dynamics of the Iranian Revolution” (1991).

Dr. Amuzegar held a bachelor’s degree in Economy from Tehran University and a Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA. In addition to the postdoctoral fellowship, in the year 2000, he and his late wife established the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies at UCLA, held by M. Rahim Shayegan. The chair promotes innovative research on, and teaching in, all aspects of the Iranian civilization, including Iranian antiquity and the classical period.