Tahira Khannam Hira

Honored by:Labh S. Hira
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Dr. Hira, Senior Policy Adviser to the President at Iowa State University and a professor of Personal Finance and Consumer Economics, is internationally known as a leader in the field of Personal Finance and Consumer Economics.  She has served as the Executive Assistant to the President for external relations for 10 years and the Associate Vice Provost for ISU Extension for 4years. She has taught and conducted research in family financial management, investing, consumer credit, gambling and consumer bankruptcy in the United States and abroad. She is the founder of ISU financial counseling clinic. Dr. Hira received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Punjab University, Pakistan, and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1973, and a Ph.D. in 1976 in Family and Consumer Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  She joined Iowa State University in 1980.


Her varied and prolific professional experience includes being a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Chair of the NYSE committee on financial literacy, being appointed to the Iowa Student Loan Board by Governor Culver, serving as External Assessor at the University Putra Malaysia, serving on the editorial boards of journals and as a reviewer for several others in her field. She has also served on several national committees and boards, including the Institute of the Certified Financial Planners (ICFP), Board of Standards and Practices for the Certified Financial Planners (CFP board), and the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC).  She was the founding president and a fellow of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). She was also the president and vice president of Finance & Properties for the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). Currently she is serving on Heartland Corporation, Iowa Student Loan, and Credit Union Review boards. She is also a member of the Experian’s Consumer Education Council,


Dr. Hira has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to academia and research in her fields of study, including the Research Excellence Award of the Japan Society of Household Economics, University of Missouri Distinguished Alumni Award, Iowa State University Regents’ Faculty Excellence Award, Alumni Faculty Citation, the Wilton Park International Achievement Award, and the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship.


An accomplished researcher and speaker, Dr. Hira has published about 145 professional papers and book chapters and has given about 245 invited national and international presentations on topics such as the national strategy for financial literacy, social and psychological aspects of the borrowing and investment behaviors of middle and high income Americans, gender differences in investment behavior, consumer bankruptcy, consumer credit, gambling, and the borrowing behavior of college students.  Her work has been cited in national and international papers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Business Monthly, The Christian Science Monitor, Nippon Deizai Shinbun, Modern Maturity, Money Magazine, and Your Money.  She has appeared on National Public Radio, the NBC Today Show, CNN News, and the CBS Up to the Minute Show.  


Through testimony and consultation, Dr. Hira has helped to shape public policy on bankruptcy in the United States and abroad.  She has served as an expert witness for both the United States Senate Committee on Judiciary for revisions of consumer bankruptcy code and the United States Senate Banking Committee to discuss the need for money management education.  She has developed credit counseling and educational materials and programs and has also developed and taught credit counseling seminars and workshops, including those for recovery units of many major financial institutions, including Japan Consumer Finance Association of Japan and Citibank. Dr. Hira has played an active and extensive role in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. She is the founder of Iowa State’s Financial Counseling Clinic, which was developed as a research and teaching laboratory.  She developed a financial counseling option at the undergraduate level, taught several different courses and programs in personal finance, and served on national teams to develop curriculum and courses for universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has served as a major professor for 30 Ph.D. and M.S. candidates, supervised three postdoctoral fellows, and sat as a member of 43 programs of study committees.

Submitted 2/15/95; updated 12/13/2013