About Hossein Askari

Hossein Askari

Hossein Askari was born in Iran and received his elementary and secondary education in the United Kingdom. He then came to the United States where he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering, attended the Sloan School of Management and received his Ph.D. in Economics, all at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an instructor at MIT, Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, and Professor of International Business and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 1978, before coming to George Washington University (GW) in 1982, where he served as Chairman of the International Business Department, Director of the Institute of Global Management and Research and the Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs from 1998 to 2018. In January 2019, he became Emeritus Professor. He will devote his time to the tax-exempt Islamicity Foundation, which he incorporated to manage the Islamicity Indices Program and hopes to take to another university for its home.

He served for two and a half years on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund and was Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance of Saudi Arabia; in this capacity he frequently spoke for Saudi Arabia at the IMF Executive Board; he assisted in the negotiations of a $10 billion loan to the IMF; and he developed the idea of a special Quota increase for Saudi Arabia, giving Saudi Arabia an effective permanent seat on the IMF and World Bank Executive Boards and promoting Saudi Arabia’s membership to the important G-20 Committee. During the mid-1980s he directed an international team that developed the first comprehensive domestic, regional and international energy models and plan for Saudi Arabia. During 1990-1991 he was asked by the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia to act as an intermediary to restore diplomatic relations; and in 1992 he was asked by the Emir of Kuwait to mediate with Iran.

He has written on economic and human development in the Middle East, conflicts and wars in the Persian Gulf, Islamic economics and finance, social and economic justice in Islam, international trade and finance, agricultural economics, oil economics and on economic sanctions, including 34 books, over 100 refereed journal articles and numerous chapters in books and magazine articles. He has written over two hundred opinion pieces in the NYT, WP, LAT, IHT, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, US News and World Report, Foreign Policy, the National Interest Online, Asia Times Online and in other newspapers and websites. He has given numerous radio and television interviews and was a panelist on the Doha Debates.

He has advised ministers, central bankers and other officials in the Persian Gulf on economic development policy, oil policy, international trade and finance and on international relations. He has been a consultant to a number of institutions and corporations, including: the OECD, World Bank, IFC, APDF, IFU, United Nations, Gulf Cooperation Council, Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Planning of Saudi Arabia, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC), US General Accounting Office (GAO), US Foreign Service Institute, US Treasury, US Central Command, Industrial College of the US Armed Forces, Bechtel, First National Bank of Chicago, Eastman (Kodak) Chemical, Litton Industries, Hydril Company, Northwest Industries, Sunoco and ARCO International.

His courses and seminars at GW (School of Business, the Elliott School and the University Honors Program) have focused on international trade and finance, financial crises,  economic, human and political development in the Persian Gulf, conflicts and wars in the Middle East, the political economy of oil and on Islamic economics and finance.