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About Us

The Iran Social Science Data Portal is an English- and Persian-language internet portal that hosts social science data on Iran; including socioeconomic data, electoral data, information on political parties, and translations of selected laws. It aims to provide a service to journalists, academics, policymakers, and others interested in analyzing political and socioeconomic developments in contemporary Iran. The project is funded by the Social Science Research Council.

Who are we?

Principal Investigators

Mehrzad Boroujerdi is Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where he also serves as the Founding Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program and Co-Director of the Religion, Media and International Relations Program. Professor Boroujerdi has received grants and research awards from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Rockefeller Foundation, Syracuse University and Harvard University. Professor Boroujerdi has published widely and is currently working on a book manuscript about the political elite of post-revolutionary Iran. For more information, see

Mirjam Künkler is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Her research focuses on relations between religion and state, religious authority and judicial politics in Iran. Dr. Künkler has received research awards and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the British Academy, the Henry Luce Foundation, the British Institute for Persian Studies (BIPS), the Institute for Social & Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), the Tokyo and Nippon Foundations (SYLFF), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Columbia University, and Princeton University. Dr. Künkler is currently working on a book that analyzes the role of law in structuring regime-opposition relations in Iran (1979-2009). For more information, see

Research and Project Assistants

Artin Afkhami is an Iran Researcher at The New York Times and a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also teaches Persian at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as a Foreign Affairs intern for the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA). He holds a BA in Middle East Studies with High Honors from UC Berkeley. His interests include US grand strategy, Middle East politics, and political philosophy.

Mohammad Ali Kadivar is a PhD Candidate of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has received his BA and MA from University of Tehran. His interests include political sociology, social movements, democratization, Middle East, and Iranian politics. Mohammad Ali’s current research is about the Iranian Reform Movement (1997-2005). 

Peyman Malaz is a PhD student of International Relation and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Peyman holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. His general areas of interest include religion and ethics in international affairs, social movements in world politics, political sociology and international security.

Katie Manbachi graduated with an M.A. from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in June 2013. Her research interests include Islamic political thought in modern Iran, specifically conservative discourses, female religious authority, and institutions of religious education in Iran. Her M.A. thesis analyzed the evolution of the late Ayatollah Montazeri’s doctrine of velāyat-e faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist) in his scholarly works Mabāni-ye Feqh-e Hokumat-e Eslāmi and Hokumat-e Dini va Hoquq-e Ensān.

Maryam Rutner is a PhD student in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, and research assistant at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a master’s degree in Political Science and Iranian Studies from Georg-August University (Germany). Maryam's interests include Islamic law, religious authorities, and the relationship between the state and religion.

Elham Seyedsayamdost is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Columbia University focusing on comparative politics and political economy of development. Prior to her doctoral studies, Elham worked at the United Nations and the World Bank on development projects dealing with poverty reduction, gender and economy, health, and education. Elham holds a BA in International and Comparative Politics from the American University of Paris, and a Master of International Affairs and an MA in Political Science from Columbia University.

Evan Siegel is an amateur researcher focusing on Iran during the Constitutional Period. His translations include Ahmad Kasravi's History of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. He has presented and published dozens of articles and translations based on Persian, Azeri Turkish, Arabic, Georgian, Russian, French, and German sources. In "real" life he is a PhD in mathematics, adjuncting in the CUNY system. See: http://iran.qlineorientalist.com, and

Arash Pourebrahimi is a visiting fellow at Harvard University and a PhD candidate in Political Economy at Leiden University (Netherlands). He also was a guest fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (2014-15). His research interests include International Political Economy, Formal and Quantitative Methodology, Collective Decision-Making in Political Institutions and Politics in the Middle East. His current research projects focus on Legislative Decision-Making in the European Union and Voter turnout in Iranian elections.