A Chat with Shirin Karsan: Chair of the Peace Action Network within Young Presidents Oranization (YPO); Fulbright Scholar; currently serves as the Dean's Executive Advisory Council at Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems; past Chair of The Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Shirin Karsan.
Shirin Karsan serves as the Chair of the Peace Action Network, one of four impact networks within the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). YPO consists of 34,000 extraordinary members, in over 140 countries, who come together to become better leaders and better people. Through YPO, we are inspired and supported to make a difference in the lives, businesses and the world we impact. Shirin is the first female to be elected in this position.
Shirin received her Master of Bioethics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on the Ethics of Emerging Technologies. As a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted her qualitative research in the United Arab Emirates on Reproductive Ethics, specifically on In Vitro Fertilization from an Emirati Muslim perspective, and has been published in several books and journals.
She worked at Drexel University in the Nanotechnology Institute, and later in the School "Dialectics Of Power And Resistance; Service-Learning in International Contexts" and has been published as a chapter in the SAGE Sourcebook of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.
Shirin has always embodied a strong ethic of service and currently serves and works with several boards in Pennsylvania and globally.
She has served as the Chair of The Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, through which she supported the first initiative forming an affinity and solidarity group, the Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance (PAPAJA), to work together on issues of common concern to the Jewish and Asian Pacific American communities, such as antisemitism and Asian hate crimes.
Shirin currently serves as the Dean's Executive Advisory Council at Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. She has been involved for several years with The Welcoming Center, an organization that connects newly arrived individuals from around the world with the economic opportunities that they need to succeed in the region. This service is a direct reflection of her personal experience as a South Asian being kicked out of Uganda at a very early age.
Shirin serves on the board of The Philadelphia Foundation, whose strategy is grounded in community; what it needs and wants for today and tomorrow, what resources can be brought to bear to make it stronger, and shaped by the values we hold close, including excellence, diversity, equity and results. She also served on the board of The Global Bioethics Initiative, which concentrates on raising awareness of bioethical issues at local, state, national, and international levels, providing thoughtful, timely research and analysis of bioethical issues facing the national and international community.
Shirin was born in, but had to flee from Uganda as a refugee. Her family was scattered in eight different countries as a result. She has shared her perspectives on migration in a TEDx talk. She herself has lived in several countries and currently spends time with her grandkids between Philadelphia PA and London UK.
Her other leadership roles and services include serving on the Thomas Jefferson University Alumni Board, as a graduate of the Allied Health (Diagnostic Imaging) program, for which she received an Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award; being a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and has served non stop in various capacities within the Ismaili community for almost five decades from acting as a lay minister to supporting community health governance efforts, and most recently with the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration Board as a trained mediator and conflict resolution manager. She has conducted these trainings in Gujarati and Urdu/Hindi.
Shirin is now an adjunct faculty teaching Bioethics to graduate students at Drexel University. She is a life long learner, with diverse experiences, including being a pilot, a certified gemologist and a breast cancer survivor.
TO WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW, CLICK ON THIS MP4 file link