Fellows class

TEDGlobal 2009

About Nassim

Bio

Nassim Assefi, MD is a novelist, women’s health specialist, creative curator, civic activist, and thrillionaire currently serving as Director of Stage Content for TEDMED. Past incarnations include: medical academic in Seattle, humanitarian aid worker (and underground salsa dance teacher) in Kabul, aspiring musician in Havana and writer in Istanbul. She is the author of Aria (Harcourt 2007, audiobook in 2013 & 5 foreign translations) and Say I Am You (forthcoming, about the promises and perils of humanitarianism in Afghanistan). Other projects have included: defending prisoners' rights to basic health care (with the Public Interest Law Group), caring for vulnerable urban patients at The Country Doctor Community Health Clinics, doing pro-bono torture evaluations of refugees seeking political asylum, medical advising at health care start-up ZocDoc, serving on advisory boards for Hedgebrook and Afghan Vision Network, and passionate projects as a TEDGlobal Fellow and TEDx organizer. Nassim is a graduate of Wellesley College, University of Washington Medical School, and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s residency program. A second generation Iranian-American, bridge-builder and global-nomad, she has traveled to more than 50 countries and speaks and sometimes sings in five languages. She is a 2011 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, was recently given a Woman of Courage award by the University of Washington, and was named one of the top 40 under 40 feminists by Feminist Press.

Education

  • Wellesley College; Biochemistry
  • University of Washington; Medicine
  • Harvard Medical School; Post Graduate Internal Medicine/Women's Health Residency

Job Titles

Doctor, Novelist, Creative Curator, Global Women's Public Health Consultant, Civic Activist (particularly in the Middle East), Thrillionaire

About Nassim Assefi’s work

website for my novels and some global women's public health work. features my novel, Aria, and Say I Am You (forthcoming), references on grief, Iran, favorite books, thought leaders in global public health, TV, radio, and print interviews I've done. the usual author website with a few added twists.

Companies and organizations

TEDMED, ZocDoc, Country Doctor Community Health Clinics, Public Interest Law Group, TED, TEDx, Guttmacher Institute, Hedgebrook (writing retreat for women), Wellesley College, Medical Students for Choice, Whit Press, The Next Fifty, Health Rights Interna

Fellows I'm collaborating with

Zena el Khalil

Uploaded photos

Projects

Nassim Assefi the novelist

Jan. 01, 2006 - Present

website for my novels and some global women's public health work. features my novel, Aria, and Say I Am You (forthcoming), references on grief, Iran, favorite books, thought leaders in global public health, TV, radio, and print interviews I've done. the usual author website with a few added twists.

Project website

Nassim Assefi on the TED blog

Fellows Friday

Imagination in health and medicine? 11 fresh ideas from the TEDMED stage

September 19, 2014

Prosthetics as sculpture, the maternal benefits of breast milk, Cuba’s radical approach to free medical education. These are just a few of the subjects tackled at TEDMED 2014: Unlocking Imagination, hosted last week simultaneously in San Francisco and Washington, DC, with a stage program directed by TED Fellow, physician, novelist and activist Nassim Assefi. On two stages […]

Continue reading
Live From Ted Global 2013

World on Its Head: The speakers in session 6 at TEDGlobal 2013

June 12, 2013

“It’s about discarding assumptions about the Middle East, Latin America, and the way you think the world works,” Nassim Assefi described in an interview before we all got to Edinburgh for TEDGlobal 2013. This session, which she co-curated with fellow TED Fellow Gabriella Gomez-Mont, features a host of speakers who’ll be prompting us to think […]

Continue reading
Live From Ted Global 2013

World on Its Head: A Q&A about ideas behind a guest-curated TEDGlobal session

May 21, 2013

Session 6 of TEDGlobal 2013 has a captivating title: “World on Its Head.” Guest curated by Nassim Assefi and Gabriella Gómez-Mont — both from the inaugural class of TEDGlobal 2009 Fellows — the session will be a chance to turn our conceptions of the Middle East and Latin America upside down, and to rethink staid assumptions […]

Continue reading