Dr Serra Kirdar

Foundation Fellow

New York born, Serra Kirdar of Iraqi origin, can easily be considered a global citizen, feeling equally at home in the UK, US and currently in the Middle East.

Kirdar received her schooling in London at St Paul’s Girls School, going on to earn her BA in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford, where she also completed an MSc. in Comparative and International Education. She then completed her DPhil at St Antony’s College, Oxford University in 2004 entitled: ‘Gender and Cross – Cultural Experience with Reference to Elite Arab Women’. Her rigorous academic career and interest in education and women’s empowerment in the Middle East has translated into an involvement with various philanthropic ventures as well as numerous publications. She spent a year at Harvard University where she was a Fellow at the Centre for Middle East Studies. Kirdar also sits on the board of the New Leaders Group at the Institute of International Education, the International Advisory Council of the Asian University for Women and the Steering Committee of the Emerging Market Symposium, Green Templeton College, Oxford University. She is a board member of the Iraqi Women’s Fellowship Foundation, as well as a Life Fellow of St. Anthony’s college, Oxford University, and a regular speaker at various international conferences. Kirdar is the Co-Founder and Chairman of COPIA Luxury Lifestyle and Communications, a consultancy and communications company focused on brand strategy for the Middle East with offices in Dubai and London. In addition to her support of women’s issues and education, Kirdar is also a staunch supporter of the arts and is a Patron of the University of Arts of London and Art Dubai, the British Film Institute and a board member of the Caspian Arts Foundation. She is an avid art collector and both collects and advises on emerging market artists.