Zahedi Family Fellows

Tomoyo Chisaka

Dr. Tomoyo Chisaka

Tomoyo Chisaka (spring 2023)

Tomoyo Chisaka joins the Iranian Studies Program as the second Zahedi Family Fellow in spring of 2023. Dr. Chisaka is a JSPS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo, Japan. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University, during the 2022-2023 academic year. Her dissertation examined the parliamentary election management in post-revolutionary Iran. Focusing on the legal functions of the Ministry of Interior and the Guardian Council, the dissertation considered when and how Iran’s Supreme Leader delegates autonomy to the executive headed by the President as related to the management of parliamentary elections.

As a Zahedi Fellow, Dr. Chisaka will conduct research on Iranian foreign relations with the US after the 1953 coup by utilizing the Zahedi papers, US National Security Archive, and other resources at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. She is interested in the US diplomatic approach toward Iran’s domestic politics through the process of forming an authoritarian parliamentary system under the Shah as well as its causes and consequences. 

Arash Azizi

Arash Azizi

Arash Azizi (spring 2022)

Arash Azizi was the first Zahedi Family Fellow, joining in spring of 2022. As a PhD candidate in History and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University (NYU), his dissertation charts the history of Communist internationalism in the Middle East as part of the Global Cold War. Focusing on the ties between the Communist parties of Iran and Iraq, the dissertation looks at their transnational collaboration, their unique stance on Israel/Palestine and their rivalry with the New Left and Islamists. It looks to show how the Cold War was waged in the Middle East, not only by distant superpowers but by local actors such as the communists and their opponents such as the Shah of Iran. 

As a Zahedi Fellow, Azizi conducted research on Iranian foreign policy and the Cold War in the Middle East by utilizing the Zahedi papers and other resources at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. He was particularly interested in the rich account of Pahlavi Iran’s diplomatic relations with countries such as Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia which is found in the Zahedi papers and which he previously used for his research project on Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He gave a talk titled "Nobody's Periphery: Pahlavi Iran and the Arab-Israeli Conflict" at the end of fellowship residency.