Banafsheh is the author of Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016; Arabic edition- Dar AlSaqi, 2016; Persian edition- Zarir Publishing, 2017). Recently a visiting scholar at Princeton University, she was also a visiting fellow at the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies and Research, Saudi Arabia. She frequently speaks and writes on international events, and likes to simultaneously take on several new academic and creative writing projects.
A university assistant and adjunct professor for over thirteen years, she is also a geopolitical and communications consultant and offers consulting services in the field. Since 2009, she has advised major global companies and the US private sector, and shared her expertise with the White House from 2010 to 2013.
Previously, Banafsheh worked as a consultant at the World Bank and a development program officer at the Asia Foundation, working on the North Africa region and in Afghanistan. She volunteered time to the United Nations Political Department in New York and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and advised a host of international non governmental organizations on women's rights, human rights, refugee resettlement, and environmental advocacy.
Banafsheh has worked as a content writer, commentator and simultaneous interpreter with major news outlets including with NPR, CNN, NBC, Fox, and Public Television, and with The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and The Seattle Tribune, and is a skilled English to Persian/Farsi and Tajik/Dari translator. She is the translator of a book for the United Nations titled Refugee Law in Iran authored by Peace Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi (Dar AlSaqi, 2008), and the editor of a book of poetry titled Five Treasures of Ferdowsi (Iranian Calligraphy Society, 1998). She is an accredited member of the Association of Interpreters at the European Commission, and in the past interpreted at high-stake international commercial, security and political meetings and conferences, including with the UN, the European Union, the US-Iran Claims Tribunal, Iran's Nobel Laureate and four of its presidents.
She received her BA in English Translation and MA in Applied Linguistics from Iran, and a Master’s degree and PhD in International Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She grew up in London, Bonn, Tehran, and Islamabad, and lived and worked in Asia, Europe and South America before arriving for graduate studies in Boston. She currently lives in San Francisco.