Dr. Roy Mottahedeh

Dr. Roy Mottahedeh  received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1970 for a dissertation on Buyid administration. Professor Mottahedeh began his teaching career at Princeton University in 1970. A Guggenheim Fellowship allowed him to write his first book, Loyalty and Leadership in an Early Islamic Society (1980), the manuscript of which gained him tenure. As one of the first group of MacArthur fellows in 1981, Professor Mottahedeh was initially doubtful that such an award existed and called back for confirmation. The MacArthur award allowed him to write his second book, The Mantle of the Prophet (1985), which was a study of contemporary Iran as understood through two millennia of history. This book has been widely translated and remains in print.

In 1986 Professor Mottahedeh returned to Harvard University as Professor of Islamic History in the History Department. He served as the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University from 1987 to 1990 and founded the Harvard Middle East and Islamic Review as a medium for Harvard students and teachers to publish their work. He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as a series editor for several academic publishers. In 1994 he was appointed Gurney Professor of History. Together with Angeliki Laiou he co-edited The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World (2001).