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2017 Richard W. Lyman Award Winner


Abbas Milani

Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, a co-director of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution

Since the moment he arrived on campus in 2003, Abbas Milani began volunteering for Stanford. He’s participated in almost all of our alumni programs, including regional club events, Classes Without Quizzes, Sierra Camp, Leading Matters and most notably, Travel/Study. A great Stanford ambassador, he receives rave reviews from alumni everywhere he goes.

Abbas’ expertise is U.S.-Iran relations as well as Iranian cultural, political, and security issues. In his fourteen years at Stanford, he has taught courses on modern Iranian politics, culture, and religion. He has published more than 20 books and 200 articles and book reviews. His latest book, The Shah, was chosen by The Wall Street Journal as one of the books of the year.

With current events in the Middle East being top of mind for many Stanford alumni, Abbas is frequently requested as a regional speaker. He brings both breadth and depth to timely and relevant discussions, bringing the subject to life for Stanford alumni and brilliantly fielding questions.

Abbas is an exceptional Travel/Study faculty leader and has traveled to places like Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Oregon, Egypt and more. His lectures are erudite, yet down to earth and have been described as “mesmerizing.” Not only is Abbas a great lecturer, but he is focused on delivering the best educational experience possible for alumni. On trips he has regularly scheduled lectures, which he gives brilliantly, but also goes out of his way to make himself accessible and useful to the travelers.

He is as comfortable in the theaters of Ashland as he is in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, or a mosque in Morocco. And his ability to put travelers at ease combined with his passion to share his knowledge about, and his love for, his subjects and his country are truly extraordinary.

Abbas embodies what SAA looks for in a faculty speaker. He is generous with his time, responsive to alumni requests, happy to travel far and wide, and graciously works with staff to help bring the great work happening at Stanford out to our alumni.

About the Richard W. Lyman Award

The Richard W. Lyman Award was established in 1983 in President Emeritus Richard W. Lyman's honor. The Award recognizes one outstanding faculty member for extraordinary service to the alumni community and Stanford Alumni Association programs. Recipients generously donate time to alumni, go beyond the expectations of University appointments and embody the mission of Stanford Alumni Association.

Past Winners

2016
James A. Fox
Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Associate Professor of Anthropological Sciences and, by courtesy, of Spanish and Portuguese


2015
Jeffrey R. Koseff
The Perry L. McCarty Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, The Michael Forman University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and The William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor of Civic and Environmental Engineering


2014
Margot Gerritsen
Associate professor of energy resources engineering, and director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford


2013
Larry Diamond
Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is also the Peter E. Haas Faculty co-director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford.


2012
Hank Greely
Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law


2011
Lyman P. Van Slyke
Professor of History, Emeritus

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