Sama Sabihi is the program manager for 2Gen Practice at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. At Ascend, Sama manages 2Gen Place-Based strategies through the design and implementation of national convenings, development of research and publications, and relationship-building with stakeholders including parent advisors.
Prior to joining Ascend in January 2023, Sama held the role of Associate Director of Programs with the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) where she focused on college access programming and professional development for GEAR UP practitioners. Previously, she worked as a Program Coordinator for Retention for the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland, where she currently is an adjunct instructor for courses on social change within the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Sama also serves as an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Practitioner on the NASA Astrophysics Division and a board member for the Charles C. Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming.
Sama is the daughter of Iranian immigrant parents who raised their four children in Northeast Ohio with an emphasis on the value of education. As a result, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from the Ohio State University and holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Maryland.