Shirin Karsan, who serves on the Boards of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the Global Bioethics Initiative and the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration Board, joined The Philadelphia Foundation Board in 2018.
From 2006 to 2013, she worked in the AJ Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and was Special Projects manager at Drexel University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, where she directed the local and international weServe program. WeServe enabled students to apply their education via innovative solutions for the immediate benefit of underserved communities through service learning.
Karsan holds a Masters in Bioethics degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, and a BS, summa cum laude, from Thomas Jefferson University.
She is a Fulbright scholar. Her research interests include cultural and religious perspectives on the ethics of emerging biotechnologies. She pursued her Fulbright research for a year in Al Ayn, United Arab Emirates, to study Muslim perspectives on the ethics of emerging technologies.
Shirin’s primary research in the UAE and her work at Drexel University have led to several publications as an author of journal articles and book chapters, and she has presented at multiple conferences and institutions around the globe. She recently received the Jefferson College of Health Professions Special Achievement Award.
Shirin is a Nationally Certified Bioethics Trainer through Tuskegee University. She mentors girls at inner city high schools through the “Women of Tomorrow” organization. She is a trained and practicing mediator and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Conflict Resolution. She is fluent in English and Gujarati, and conversationally capable in Urdu, Hindi and Arabic. She loves to travel and carries an FAA pilot’s license.