Leena Nasser specializes in the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and education. She is the Executive Director of the Chopra Institute, a leading global entity aimed at bridging eastern and western medicine, understanding the systemic nature of disease, and catalyzing a systemic and human-centered pathway to prevention.
Prior to this role, Leena served as one of two experts in the education sector of the global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Leena advised community, education, and foundation leaders on strategy design rooted in evidence-based learning theory to drive impact and develop holistic responses to inequality. Her work surrounded the question of how might we use neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and human-centered design to inform how we go about undergoing transformation?
Prior to the Boston Consulting Group, Leena led education efforts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Leadership Academy. She focused on re-designing the learning environment to foster innovation and creativity in the space of foreign policy. Leena worked closely under the training of Daniel Pink–author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” She built a framework that brought together the science of motivation to the think tank model, leading projects such as the Think Do Tank, an internal incubator.
Prior to CSIS, Leena conducted empirical research on Saudi Arabia public school textbook stories from the 2nd to the 6th grade, investigating how educational stories contributed to the reproduction of a gendered national identity complacent to the status quo, and how this identity while serving the state, presents a roadblock to Saudi Arabia’s economic development and is a root cause to the Nations skills gap.
Leena has a graduate degree in Mind Brain and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research explored how the design of informal and formal learning spaces contribute to a sense of identity and residual mind-brain lifelong impact. Leena was specifically investigating the power of stories—told explicitly through words, or implicitly through orchestrated spaces–on the brain and behavior. Leena remains currently involved in this research, specifically looking at less represented communities and the impact of empowering identity stories on performance, societal contribution, and health and wellbeing.
Leena Nasser received her bachelor’s degree from Bates College and her master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is fluent in Arabic and English and was born and raised predominantly in Saudi Arabia while spending much of her time in Syria. Leena currently lives in New York City.