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Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy and Middle East Analyst for CBS News. He is also a featured blogger for Anderson Cooper 360. Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.

Aslan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors for the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues, Abraham’s Vision, an interfaith peace organization, and PEN USA.

Aslan’s first book is the New York Times bestselling No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award in the UK, and nominated for a PEN USA award for research non-fiction. His next book, How to Win a Cosmic War, will be published by Random House in April 2009, and will be followed by an edited anthology, Words Without Borders: Contemporary Literature from the Muslim World, to be published by Norton in 2010.

Aslan is cofounder and creative director of BoomGen Studios, a hub for creative content from and about the Middle East, as well as the Editorial Executive of, an on-line community for Muslim youth. Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside.

To watch Aslan in conversation with Asia Society president Vishakha Desai, please see this link to the Asia Society's coverage.

Reza Aslan Interview

Reza Aslan discusses the importance of arts in cultural diplomacy.