Olga Merck Davidson received her Ph.D. from Princeton University (1983) in near eastern studies. Her dissertation, The Crown-Bestower and the Iranian Book of Kings, was awarded the T. Cuyler Young prize by the Near Eastern Studies Department, Princeton University.
Currently she is adjunct associate professor of comparative literature at Brandeis University. Besides teaching half time at Brandeis (her yearly course is entitled “The Woman’s Voice in the Muslim World,”) she serves as chair of the board of the Ilex Foundation. Her teaching interests include Persian and Arabic languages and literatures, women’s studies, Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian, Sanskrit, classical Greek and Latin languages and literatures, comparative literature, folklore and oral poetics.
From 1986 to 1991, she served jointly with husband Gregory Nagy as master of Currier House at Harvard University. From 1992 to 1997, she was chair of the concentration in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at Brandeis University. From 1997 to 2000, she served as elected member of the Council of the Iranian Association of Boston.
She is a member of the Governing Board of the Woodcock Foundation. Currently, she is also serving as elected member of the board of trustees, Encyclopedia Iranica and as elected member of the Board of Advisors of the series Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series. She serves on the Board for Search for Common Ground and the American-Iranian Council. She is also an appointed member of Advisory Council of the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University.