Barry Rosen

Barry Rosen’s first view of Iran began in 1967, when he left Brooklyn for a two-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer. He taught English and he learned Farsi. In many ways, Iran became a second home for Rosen. A decade later, he returned to Iran as the embassy’s press attaché and that home became his prison. On November 4, 1979 he became one of 52 Americans held under brutal conditions for 444 days by Iranian militants. Details of captivity, peculiar as well as profound, are never far from Mr. Rosen’s mind. He was threatened with automatic weapons pointed to his head, a victim of mock executions, held blindfold for days on end, tied hand and foot, and thrown into prison. Torn between his love for Iran, sensitively grounded in the Peace Corps experience, and his anger and frustration over the way his captors violated Iran’s own traditions and norms, Mr. Rosen has been an advocate for the needs of hostages and their families since his release nearly four decades ago. Barry has spoken across the country and abroad about his own personal experience and has sought to detail the impact of terrorism and captivity on the psyche of hostages and their families. He talks candidly about his own experience with PTSD and how that has impacted his own and his family’s lives. After retiring from the Foreign Service, Barry took up the position of Assistant to the President of Brooklyn College, CUNY. He co-wrote wrote The Destined Hour, about his experience in Iran with his wife, Barbara Rosen, and convened a major conference on Iran, which led to the publication of Iran Since the Revolution. Shortly after 9/11 Mr. Rosen headed a Teachers College, Columbia University project to rewrite the elementary school textbooks for the Afghan Ministry of Education. “I felt we needed to return to a culture that I knew and pickup the work of education. We had a history in Afghanistan and that education was the only way to change young Afghan lives.” Mr. Rosen has two graduate degrees, one from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Affairs. The other is from Columbia University’s Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures. Mr. Rosen is honored to be a member of the Advisory Board of Hostage Aide Worldwide (HAW) and looks forward to support those men, women, and families who suffer the trauma of a hostage odyssey.