Ruhi Ramazani headshot

Ruhi Ramazani

Dr. Ruhi Ramazani (1928–2016), Edward R. Stettinius Professor Emeritus of Government and Foreign Affairs, taught at the University of Virginia from 1953 to 1994. His first class was for a group of nine students, the first course ever offered on the Middle East at UVA. Born in Iran in 1928, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1952, initially studying at the University of Georgia, then graduating from the UVA with a Doctor of Science of Jurisprudence (in international relations and law) from the School of Law in 1954. As a professor and advocate he spent 60 years following his hope to “advance a better understanding of Iran’s foreign policy, and its relations with the United States.”

Over his career Dr. Ramazani published more than 100 articles and book chapters. His media writing includes op-eds in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Christian Science Monitor, and television appearances on Meet the Press, CNN, CNN International, ABC News and other TV programming.

His reach extended far outside the University, to Johns Hopkins University as Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies, as a Member of High Table at University of Cambridge in England, as the Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut, and lecturing in over thirty cities overseas. Known as “The Dean of Iranian Foreign Policy Studies in the United States,” he was a former Vice President of the American Institute of Iranian Studies, and an Emeritus Member of the Board of Governors at the Middle East Institute, and was frequently called upon by the news media as an expert in the Middle East and the changing face of Iran over a 60 year period.

His love for his home institution and the city of Charlottesville includes creating, with James Perkins and Allen Lynch, Foreign Cultures and American Foreign Policy series at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, founding the Middle East Studies program at the University, and serving on the Board at Monticello.

In 2024 the UVA Board of Visitors has named a new residence hall on Brandon Avenue for Dr. Ramazani, Ramazani House. Their resolution honors his legacy and achievements. 


Ruhi Ramazani: Jeffersonian Principles and the Middle East
Islamic Republic of Pakistan by Professor Barnett, OLLI at UVA
UVA Profiles

Selected Writing

The Dilemma of U.S.-Iran Relations
The Changing United States Policy in the Middle East

Spotlight: Professor Emeritus R.K. Ramazani


 European Common Market and the Middle East (1964)

The Northern Tier: Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey (1966)

The Foreign Policy of Iran, 1500-1941: A Developing Nation in World Affairs (1966)

Persian Gulf: Iran’s Role (1972)

Iran’s Foreign Policy, 1941-1975: A Study of Foreign Policy in Modernizing Nations (1975)

Beyond the Arab-Israeli Conflict: New Directions for U.S. Policy in the Middle East (1977)

The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz (1979)

The United States and Iran (1982)

Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East (1986-1987)

The Gulf Cooperation Council: Record and Analysis (1988)

As Editor 

Iran’s Revolution: The Search for Consensus (1990)

Iran at the Crossroads (2001)

The Future of Liberal Democracy: Thomas Jefferson and the Contemporary World (2004)

 Religion, State and Society: Thomas Jefferson’s Wall of Separation in Comparative Perspective (2008)

Awards and Honors

Distinguished Professor Award
Thomas Jefferson Award
Fulbright Award
Social Science Research Council Award
Middle East Institute Award
American Association of Middle Eastern Studies Award
Center for Iranian Research and Analysis Award


President Jimmy Carter
US Departments of State
US Departments of Defense
US Departments of Treasury
Secretariat General of the United Nations
Via  USIA: Foreign ministries of Britain, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Spain and Turkey
Rockefeller Foundation’s International Relations Program


Advisory Board of the International Center for Jefferson Studies
Advisory Board of The Middle East Journal
Editorial Board of Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Editorial Board Journal of the Center for Iranian Research and Analysis

Professor Emeritus

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