02. 29. 2024
Mariam Banahi headshot (Photo Credit: Roman Knipping-Sorokin)

After an extensive search and series of interviews with an impressive set of finalists, the Graduate School is pleased to welcome Dr. Mariam Banahi to our team. Dr. Banahi joins us as Assistant Director (AD) for Postdoctoral Initiatives in a newly created, full-time position. Dr. Banahi will focus on creating an inclusive and robust postdoctoral training environment by providing advocacy and professional development opportunities for our postdoctoral scholars. She will also be instrumental in spearheading efforts to ensure competitive wages for our postdocs. In this position, Dr. Banahi will collaborate closely with the Executive Director of Technology Commercialization to create training/programming and experiential learning opportunities with corporate partners and startup companies for postdocs pursuing careers in industry.

“Postdoctoral scholars are at a critical juncture in their professional lives, and I am thrilled to collaborate on designing inclusive programming to help them navigate their training and the next steps in their careers,” says Dr. Banahi. “As part of my role at UMN, I look forward to celebrating postdocs while contributing to the institution's history of scholarly excellence.”

Dr. Banahi brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our community, as evidenced by her impressive educational background and extensive programmatic leadership roles. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, where she conducted groundbreaking research on Afghan migrants in Hamburg, Germany. Dr. Banahi also earned a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from The New School for Social Research in New York.

Dr.Banahi has held positions at Johns Hopkins University, Refugees International, and The Mountain School of Milton Academy. In her most recent role as Assistant Director of the First-Generation Office at Dartmouth College, Dr. Banahi demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills by co-leading the First-Year Summer Enrichment Program and spearheading the development of a first-generation, low-income faculty and staff network while also leading the Office's year-long peer mentoring program. Her dedication to supporting underrepresented students and fostering inclusive environments has been recognized both within and outside academia. She received a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation and was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and Mellon Foundation as part of the Public Fellows Program. 

"We are extremely excited to have Dr. Banahi join the U of MN. We are fortunate to benefit from her several years of experience with programmatic leadership across disciplines that will help build and sustain an inclusive environment where all postdocs are welcomed and supported," says Noro Andriamanalina, Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Initiatives.

Dr. Banahi will officially join us on March 1, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact she will have on our University.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Banahi as she embarks on this exciting journey with us.

Photo Credit: Roman Knipping-Sorokin