Manijeh Sabi, is a professor of economics and holds Emily Mantilia Chair at The Sage Colleges. She was born in Tehran, Iran and came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student. She earned her Ph.D. from Northeastern University, her Master’s Degree from Kent State University, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Wittenberg University; all in economics.
She worked for an international organization involved with a functional literacy project co-sponsored by UNESCO, UNDP, and Iran in early 1970. Manijeh planned the functional literacy program and completed several projects related to the reform of non-formal education in Iran.
Since early 1990 her work has concentrated on problems of transitional economies, especially Central Asia and Caucasus. She is a former Fulbright Scholar at Technical University of Tajikistan (Dushanbe, Tajikistan 2009), Khazar University (Baku, Azerbaijan 1995-96), and Hungary (1993). In addition, she was a visiting lecturer at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade in China and Bilkent University in Turkey. She has directed several projects funded by the Open Society Institute that took her to Kazakhstan, Siberia (Tomsk and Kemerovo), Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey.
These projects involved working with young university instructors from the former Soviet Union addressing the problem of sparse teaching materials and introducing active learning methodology, and exploration of how to apply the latest monetary theories and policies to Central Asian and Caucasus economies. These projects established links among professors in the U.S., Central Asia and Caucasus for producing teaching materials suited to the needs of students in those regions. She was also selected as non-resident international scholar by Open Society Institute of Soros Foundation’s Academic Fellowship Program. She provided specialized mentoring/ consulting services for the faculty members of Tajikistan State University of Commerce for academic year 2012-13.
These international experiences have obliged Manijeh to develop new interests in exploring the complexities of national and religious identities and the status of women in political development of independent states. In addition to teaching Economics, she has been involved with developing and teaching women’s study courses such as Women in The World, Women Changing the World, and Women in Developing countries. These course engage students in examination of the forces that influence women’s lives globally and the ways in which economic, political, and geographic forces intersect with gender, ethnicity, and race. Furthermore, she is interested in interdisciplinary approach and received a grant from Starting Point Teaching and Learning Economics, funded by National Science Foundation, to develop interdisciplinary modules for applying oral history methods in economics.
Her current research is involved with Microfinance Institutions in Central Asia. She received Title VIII grant from the United States Department of State (administered by the University of Delaware) in 2010 to investigate the nature competition among microfinance institutions in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. She received grants from The National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (summer 2012) and International Research and Exchange Board (summer 2013) to investigate the development of Islamic Microfinance in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.