Who We Are

Board of Directors

As a not-for-profit association, our members elect our board members at our annual meeting.

Rouzbeh Parsi

Senior Lecturer Lund University

Dr. Rouzbeh Parsi is the Director of EIRG. He is a senior lecturer at Lund University, Department of History and Human Rights, specialising on Iran and the Middle East. Between 2009 and 2013, he worked as senior analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris.

Nicola Pedde

Director Institute of Global Studies

Nicola is the Director of the Institute of Global Studies ( IGS ) of Rome and Director of the Journal Geopolitics of the Middle East. He has taught international relations at the University of Rome La Sapienza and the John Cabot University in Rome. He conducts research on the Middle East and the Persian Gulf at the Military Centre for Strategic Studies ( Ce.Mi.SS ) of the Centre for High Defence Studies ( CASD ) of the Ministry of Defence.

Minou Sadeghpour

Program Manager for Security Policy Folk och Försvar

Minou is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. She currently works for Sigtuna kommun and was previously a Program Manager at Folk och Försvar (Society and Defence) and a Special Advisor at the Swedish Prime Minister’s Office.

Dina Esfandiary

MacArthur Fellow Centre for Science and Security Studies at King's College London

Dina Esfandiary is a CSSS Fellow in the War Studies department at King’s College London, and an Adjunct Fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Middle East Programme. Prior to this, she was a Research Associate in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament programme of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London from October 2009. Before she joined IISS, she worked at a Disarmament NGO in Geneva, Switzerland. Her research focuses on Persian Gulf security, Iran’s foreign relations, and relations between states and non-proliferation in the Middle East. Dina has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, The Guardian, the Washington Post, the National Interest, Arms Control Today, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, International Affairs, and The Washington Quarterly. Dina is a co-author of Living on the Edge: Iran and the Practice of Nuclear Hedging (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and the upcoming Triple-Axis: China, Russia, Iran and Power Politics (I.B Taurus, 2017). Dina is completing her PhD in the War Studies department at King’s College London and she holds Masters Degrees from Kings College London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Lars-Erik Olofsson

Advisor Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University

Advising CMES on innovation and internationalisation.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board supports the Board of Directors on specific strategic decisions.

Ambassador Peter Tejler

Swedish Ambassador to Tehran Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Ambassador Tejler was the former Swedish Ambassador to Tehran and is currently a Senior Advisor to Magnusson Law.

Ambassador Roberto Toscano

Senior Research Fellow Associate Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)

Ambassador Toscano is currently a Senior Research Fellow Associate at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB). Previously he was Ambassador to Iran for Italy. He has written extensively on human rights, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, ethics and international relations.

Bijan Khajepour

Managing Partner Atieh International

Dr. Bijan Khajehpour is a managing partner at Atieh International, the Vienna based international arm of the Atieh Group of Companies, a group of strategic consulting firms based in Tehran, Iran. Bijan has been instrumental in advising companies on entering markets in the Middle East. He has a strategic outlook in his consulting work and provides a macro environmental view to investing in new markets; understanding PESTLE structures (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental), social and investment challenges, but also has been involved in mediation and negotiations of international business and investment partnerships.

Farideh Farhi

Lecturer University of Hawaii at Manoa

Farideh Farhi is Affiliate Graduate Faculty and Lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her publications include States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua and the forthcoming co-edited book with Daniel Brumberg, Power and Change in Iran: Politics of Contention and Conciliation, from the University of Indiana Press.

Kevan Harris

Assistant Professor UCLA

Kevan Harris is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at UCLA.  He is also a board advisor and the former Associate Director of Princeton University’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies. Kevan also holds a position on the Editorial Board of MERIP.

Rasmus Elling

Assistant Professor, Department for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies University of Copenhagen

Dr. Rasmus Elling is an Assistant Professor at the Department for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. His research deals with the life (and death) of cities, and with social action (including ethnicity). The historical and ethnographic focus of his work is on modern Iran. One of his current projects is on Abadan developing an open source online platform for documenting the history of the oil city in texts, visuals, maps, videos, art and sound.

Leif Stenberg

Former Director Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University

Professor Leif Stenberg was the Director of the Center for Middl Eastern Studies at Lund University from 2007 – 2017. He was instrumental in the development of EIRG.


EIRG is currently developing strategic partnerships with companies and organizations. While each agreement is different, EIRG works with our strategic partners on: one, in-depth knowledge through reports and bi-annual presentations specific for partner, two, a strong team and extended network able to provide data, analysis and advice, and three, a network with on-the-ground experience that can initiate interactions in business and government.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University


The Center for Middle Eastern Studies was founded in 2007 in an effort to support and coordinate research on the region at Lund University. Research on the Middle East has existed in Lund since the university’s founding in 1666. Over the last few decades, an increasing amount of disciplines across all faculties of the university have begun conducting research and teaching courses on the region. CMES will continue to support these efforts by becoming a international hub in Scandinavia for interdisciplinary research on the Middle East.