Dr. Zahra Nasiruddin Jamal is Associate Director of Community Engagement at Rice University's Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance, where she oversees strategy, operations, and outreach. She has served on the faculty at Harvard, MIT, University of Chicago, Michigan State University (MSU), and Palmer Trinity. Dr. Jamal founded and directed the Civil Islam Initiative at University of Chicago and the Central Asia and International Development Initiative at MSU. She was previously Associate Director of the Center for the Study of American Muslims at The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), where she is currently a Fellow.
Dr. Jamal has consulted for the UN, State Department, Aga Khan Development Network, Swiss Development Cooperation, and Aspen Institute on issues of philanthropy and civic engagement, education, positive youth development, migrant labor, gender-equity, food security, and refugee settlement in North America, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia. She has published in academic and popular venues, including I Speak for Myself, a volume of autobiographical accounts of 40 American Muslim women leaders, which has been positively reviewed by Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Deepak Chopra, and others.
Dr. Jamal received a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, and double B.A. in Slavic Studies and in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from Rice. She joined the Institute in 2015.