Hoda Mahmoudi holds the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland, College Park. As holder of this endowed academic program since July 2012, Mahmoudi collaborates with a wide range of scholars, researchers, and practitioners to advance interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace. She promotes a sound scientific basis for knowledge and strategies to explore the role of social actors and structures in removing obstacles to peace and creating paths to a better world. In pursuit of this goal, she collaborates with a wide range of scholars, researchers, and practitioners. In particular, Professor Mahmoudi advocates a broad concept of peacemaking—which she refers to as a “worldview approach”—that draws insights from all cultures.
The Bahá’í Chair believes that peace is best understood when examined as an all-embracing, holistic, and inclusive single planetary process. This approach is referred to as an integrative approach to peace. A process that takes into consideration and draws insights from shared human values, ethical and moral considerations which are the foundation for an education for peace. The Bahá’í Chair promotes the vision for world peace through an intensive learning process focused on five central themes: Structural Racism and the Root Causes of Prejudice, Human nature, Empowerment of Women and Peace, Frontiers of Globalization and Governance, and Overcoming the Challenges in the Globalization of the Environment.
In 2017, Mahmoudi and the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace program received the University of Maryland President’s Commission on Ethnic and Minority award for its outstanding work on structural racism. Dr. Mahmoudi was recognized at a ceremony in November 2016, awarding her the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Honors Faculty Award. She was honored in appreciation for her popular Honors Seminar, as well as her conferences and events on timely topics of interest to the entire international community, featuring highly renowned guest speakers.
Since 2013, when Dr. Mahmoudi began exploring the research theme on “Structural Racism and the Roots of Prejudice,” leading race scholars have been invited to the University of Maryland to present their research findings and explore solutions to the elimination of racism and prejudice. An upcoming edited volume of the research findings will be published by the University of California Press under the title Structural Racism and the Roots of Prejudice, coauthored by Rashwan Ray and Hoda Mahmoudi (2018).
Before joining the University of Maryland faculty, Mahmoudi served as the coordinator of the Research Department at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, from 2001 to 2012. Previously, Mahmoudi was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Northeastern Illinois University, where she was also a faculty member in the department of sociology. Mahmoudi served as vice president and dean of Olivet College, where she was instrumental in an institutional transformation that generated national recognition. She has published widely in such leading journals as Organizational Studies, Group and Organization Studies, and the International Review of Modern Sociology.