Valentine Moghadam is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, and Director of the Women's Studies Program at Purdue University. From May 2004 – December 2006 she was Chief of the Section for Gender Equality and Development, of the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO, in Paris, France. Her work at UNESCO involved networking with and capacity building of women's organizations, as well as policy-oriented research on globalization and women's human rights, cultures and gender equality, and the gender dynamics of conflict, peace, and reconstruction. She helped establish the Palestinian Women's Research and Documentation Center in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority. Prior to that, she was Director of Women's Studies and Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Moghadam received her higher education in Canada and the U.S. After obtaining her Ph.D. in sociology from the American University in Washington, D.C. in 1986, she taught the sociology of development and women in development at New York University. From 1990 through 1995 she was Senior Researcher and Coordinator of the Research Program on Women and Development at the WIDER Institute of the United Nations University (UNU/WIDER), and was based in Helsinki, Finland. She was a member of the UNU delegation to the World Summit on Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995), and the Fourth World Conference on Women (in Beijing in September 1995).
Dr. Moghadam is author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (first published 1993; updated second edition 2003), Women, Work and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa (1998), and Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks (2005). Her edited book Identity Politics and Women: Cultural Reassertions and Feminisms in International Perspective (1994) was the first to examine fundamentalisms comparatively and cross-culturally.
Dr. Moghadam's areas of research are globalization, transnational feminist networks, civil society and citizenship, and women's employment in the Middle East. She prepared a background paper on Islam, culture, and women's rights in the Middle East for the UNDP's Human Development Report 2004. She is co-editor, with Massoud Karshenas, of Social Policy in the Middle East: Economic, Political, and Gender Dynamics (Palgrave Macmillan and UNRISD, 2006). Her most recently edited book is, From Patriarchy to Empowerment: Participation, Rights, and Women's Movements in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia(2007).