Afshin Molavi

Afshin Molavi is currently Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and Co-Director of emerge85 Lab.

As a uniquely insightful commentator and writer on global trends and geopolitics, Afshin Molavi dissects our era’s biggest story: how “the rise of the rest” in the developing and emerging worlds are transforming everything from global politics, societies, economies and businesses to how we produce, consume, connect, work and live.

Molavi’s engaging speaking style incorporates a wide range of influences, from Bollywood to bond markets. His speeches provide lively, up-to-the-minute data points punctuated by personal anecdotes from the road that illuminate and inform his audiences. He is a recurring contributor on CNN, the BBC, and NPR. His articles and op-eds frequently appear in publications like The New York Times, The Economist, Businessweek, and Institutional Investor.


Whether he weighs in as a regular contributor in the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, is addressing corporate boardrooms or speaking as a keynote on stage, Molavi argues that rapid urbanization, unprecedented connectivity, rising middle classes in emerging markets, and the demographic dominance of Asia and Africa will have far-reaching and profound effects on the future of our world. The impact will range from populist-nationalist responses in the West to growing instability in Asia and Africa. Audiences welcome his cutting-edge take on what drives geopolitics, global trends and business. 


Molavi is a former journalist whose credits include Reuters, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, and formerly a senior global advisor at Oxford Analytica. He is currently director of the emerge85 Lab at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, an initiative seeking to explore the transformations arising across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America - home to 85% of the world’s population. He is also editor and founder of the New Silk Road Monitor.


His book The Soul of Iran was called a "must-read" by renowned journalist and TIME editor-at-large, Fareed Zakaria. Molavi also co-produced the award-winning, critically acclaimed documentary, War Child.

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