Mari Kira


Core Faculty, Center for Positive Organizations

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology

University of Michigan

I am a faculty member in two research areas at the Department of Psychology, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor: Personality and Social Contexts and Gender and Feminist Psychology. I also am a docent of Organizational Behavior at the Aalto University School of Science, Finland, and a core faculty member at the Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan. I am a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (U-M) and a faculty expert at the Poverty Solutions (U-M).

I graduated with a PhD at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. After that, I have worked as a European Commission Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Kassel in Germany, as an Academy Research Fellow at the Aalto University School of Science, Finland, and as a senior researcher at the University of Giessen, Germany.

My research approaches people’s lives contextualized in social structures and systems, illuminating how theories and concepts in psychology gain more meaning and power when grounded in relevant social contexts. Drawing from personality, positive, and organizational psychology, I explore adult psychological growth that can emerge from struggles with life’s adversities. Moreover, I explore the meaning of wellbeing among vulnerable and marginalized people (e.g., refugees; individuals with a history of incarceration), and the strategies and resources that foster their wellbeing. Most recently, I have focused on how people cope with losses and create meaningful lives during a global pandemic.

Pronouns: she/her