Nesreen Akhtarkhavari is an active Bahá’í. She has served on Bahá’í institutions in various capacities since 1982. This includes serving on Local Spiritual Assemblies, National Training Institutes, managing capital campaigns, and serving as international consultant on Arab Affairs.
Professionally. Dr. Akhtarkhavari is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Modern Languages at Bethune-Cookman University. She received her Law Degree from the University of Jordan with focus on Civil and Sharia Laws, and a Master’s in Criminology and PhD in Multilingual Multicultural Education from Florida State University. She has taught courses on Islam, criminology and criminal justice, humanities, Arabic language, literature, culture, media, film, business, education, and translation. She coauthored the National Standards for Teaching Arabic K-16, founded and directed language professional organizations, and provided training and consulting on higher education, media, and culture. Prior to her work at Bethune-Cookman, she founded and directed the Arabic Studies program at DePaul University in Chicago including the development of a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Program. She also owned and served as president and senior consultant of Global Education and Training Services, Inc. providing training on culture(s) of the Arab and Islamic world, higher education, media for social change, organizational management, NGO development, and community engagement.
Dr. Akhtarkhavari has an active creative writing and research agenda. In addition to her many workshops and presentations on education, standard’s development and implementation, teaching language and literature, understanding culture and developing cultural competencies, crimes with focus on human trafficking, diversity and inclusion, mitigating racial biases, and using virtual spaces for advocacy and human rights; she is a published author, blogger, and translator. She wrote a collection of short stories in Arabic, and translated to English two Arabic novels, a novella and a collection of short stories, and three volumes of poetry including two volumes of Rumi poetry published by Michigan State University Press where she serves as the editor of a series on Arabic language, literature, and translation. Two of her translations were recognized by World Literature Today among the 75 most notable translated works for 2015 and 2016 consecutively. Dr. Akhtarkhavari serves on several boards and foundations. She is the current President of the World Engagement Institute Board, and a board member of the Wilmette Institute and Wanda and Janice Wilson Foundation, among others.