SUT graduate, Maryam Kouchaki of Northwestern University is a Poets&Quants best 40 under 40 MBA professor
With more than 1,400 Google Scholar citations, Maryam Kouchaki from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management is one of the most influential and impressive young researchers on this year’s Best 40 Under 40 Professors list. It was while an undergraduate physics student at Sharif University of Technology, in Tehran, when she fell in love with the field of organizational behavior and psychology. She had taken an elective introduction to organizational behavior MBA class and just got hooked. “It was my first exposure to social sciences,” Kouchaki recalls. “I was inspired by the insights from the professor and the MBA students in that class; I wanted to know more about human behavior and social systems.” Those feelings set her on a successful academic journey, ultimately leading to her Ph.D. studies at the University of Utah, a post-doc at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and her decision to join Kellogg in 2014 where she has pumped out an impactful amount of research on human behavior and moral choices.
An organizational psychologist, the main focus of her research centers around understanding moral decision-making and how individuals psychologically experience daily moral encounters. Her work has led her to become the editor-in-chief of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Besides being featured in many academic research journals, Kouchaki’s findings have also been featured in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post, among others.
Asking her about the professor she admires the most, professor Kouchaki mentioned “Professor Feyzbakhsh, I mentioned his class earlier where and when I fell in love with the field of organizational behavior and psychology. He was my first business professor and the reason I became a professor in this field. He is one of the most passionate people I’ve seen and he has devoted his life to teaching and inspiring young Iranians to learn about business and entrepreneurship.”
“Professor Kouchaki is one of the most remarkable professors at Kellogg,” one nominator
enthused. “Her class, Leading and Managing Teams, is one of the Kellogg student body’s favorite
courses. It teaches critical behaviors and frameworks for how leaders can best manage and
leverage the power of groups. I truly believe that it is one of the most useful and powerful classes
for Kellogg students while at Kellogg and beyond. In addition, as a female professor from Iran,
Professor Kouchaki brings incredible diversity to our campus and is a role model of empowerment
and intellect for me and my fellow students. I can think of no one else more deserving to win this
Outside of the classroom, Kouchaki says she enjoys reading, running, watching soccer, cooking,
and listening to music.