Azadeh Davari

Azadeh Davari

Doctoral Research Assistant, Leadership Coach, The Nonprofit Institute, PhD in Leadership Studies Ambassador

  • MA, University of San Diego, Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • MSc, Shahid Beheshti (Melli) University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Food Science and Technology
  • BSc, Azad University, Tehran, Food Science and Technology, Agricultural Engineering

Azadeh, with a background of science and technology, has seven years of experience working at the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute (academe) in her home country, Iran. As she was looking for something beyond her technology-based studies and career, Azadeh started to discover humanities sciences, including leadership, in a global perspective. She participated in a number of renowned international leadership trainings in South East Asia, Europe, and the United States as well as intensive self-studies. Soon, she chose to pursue advanced knowledge in the field of leadership, resulting in her admission to the MA Nonprofit Leadership and Management program at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), University of San Diego. She switched to the PhD Leadership Studies program in 2015 at SOLES.

Azadeh has been active in nonprofit organizations, including research and education in food, nutrition and healthcare systems for the last 15 years. Azadeh collaborated with Iranian Nutrition Society (professional NGO) in its member leadership development initiative. She has also been active as a leadership trainer and coach for different clients such as PhD students in nutrition programs, health system managers and staff, and business managers in different food and pharma industries.

Besides the above activities, she has initiated two leadership capacity building programs for food and nutrition professionals in Iran and the Middle-East region. Iranian Food and Nutrition Leadership Program (IFNLP) and the Middle-East Nutrition Leadership Program (ME-NLP), established in 2009 and 2012, respectively, are the two nonprofit initiatives co-developed by academe to inspire, empower and connect professionals in the field. As a leadership program developer, trainer and coach, she stays connected with the alumni of her programs.

About Me

I was born and did my primary and secondary education in beautiful, Northern Iran. Upon finishing the high school, I moved to the capital city, Tehran, for higher education and work.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked for an academy in the area in the field of food and nutrition research. During that time period, I studied and co-developed the two capacity-building initiatives for food and nutrition professionals, i.e., Iranian Food and Nutrition Leadership Program and Middle-East Nutrition Leadership Program.

I have also worked as a volunteer for the Iranian Nutrition Society to empower its members through leadership development workshops and have been a guest instructor for a management course in PhD Nutrition program in a number of renowned nutrition departments in Iran. Since 2011, I have also partnered with The Leadership Group and The Netherlands as a leadership and communication trainer and coach.

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

In 2013, I began at SOLES as a student in the MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management program. This past fall I began the PhD Leadership Studies program in 2015. I anticipate completing the  program in 2018.

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

First, I hope with the knowledge and skills gained from SOLES, I will be prepared to start a global consulting group. Over the past year, I successfully finished USD coaching certification program and in the meantime, I have been working on my consultancy group’s organizational structure, branding, and strategic planning. My goal is to serve individuals, teams and organizations as a leadership consultant, trainer, and coach. My main focuses in any leadership area are ‘leadership from inside-out’, ‘human relations’, and ‘intercultural understanding’.

Second, I will continue supporting my initiatives in West Asia and Middle-east region, to build leadership capacities among food, nutrition, and health- related professionals as well as communities, focusing on women empowerment. The ultimate goal is to bridge the huge disparity, health and development gulfs. 

Third, as a leadership scientist with Persian background, I would like to expand the leadership knowledge and wisdom, as well as to empower young generations who will enter into this discipline. This means that I will spend time for scientific activities in the forms of research, teaching, writing and mentoring in academic environments.

How has your SOLES education impacted your career and/or career goals?

Education and interactions at SOLES has been quite in accordance with my personal mindfulness and soulfulness preferences and goals. Moreover, the education has equipped me with the knowledge and skills I would require in my future career as a leadership researcher, consultant, trainer and coach.  

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time, part time, and what do you do?

I currently work part time as a graduate assistant in the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research. 

Scholarly Work

Recent Publications:

2015 Assessing leadership skills among community nutrition managers: A qualitative exercise in Iranian health system. International Journal of Healthcare Management, Published as advanced article on July 23, 2015.

2015 Development of leadership competencies within Food and Nutrition community: Capacity building initiatives in Iran and the Middle-East region. Frontiers in Public Health, 2015; 3:184. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00184

2015 Editorial. Development of leadership competencies among food and nutrition scientists: A road to greatness. Nutrition and Food Sciences Research, 2015; 2(2): 1-2