Maia Bernstein: Cerebral, innovative poet gradually becoming a global leader

Maia Bernstein: Cerebral, innovative poet gradually becoming a global leader

Those who are conversant with the literary world would probably have heard the name, Maia Bernstein. Although she does have a popular surname and is the daughter of a famous ex-supermodel, she is becoming a powerhouse on her own, thanks to poetry and her growing influence globally.

So, who is Maia Bernstein, the bi-racial poet working assiduously towards changing the dynamic of leadership across the world?

Maia Bernstein biography

Maia Bernstein smiling

Maia Bernstein is the daughter of the former supermodel, Yasmeen Ghauri. She is reportedly in her 20s and is bi-racial, as her parents are Jewish-American and Pakistani, respectively.

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Bernstein holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, a Phi Beta Kappa and Columbia College graduation honours. She is currently a student at Sarah Lawrence College working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry. She resides in Yonkers in the US state of New York with her family.

Career and achievements

Bernstein was awarded the Pomegranate Prize for Emerging Jewish Leaders in 2012 by the Covenant Foundation. With Noah Solomon, Bernstein recently released her debut album, Shiviti, as well as There Is No Place Without You, her first book of poetry.

She is prominent for showcasing adaptive leadership, design thinking, improving theatre techniques and unique story-telling. She creates distinctive spaces where participants are prepared to take chances and experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving, 

Bernstein is a faculty member at the Masa Leadership Center in Jerusalem and Yeshivat Maharat, a women’s rabbinical school in New York. She is the founding co-director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership’s Certificate in Facilitation. 

She established UpStart Labs, a non-profit organisation that fosters innovation, and she has vast consulting experience in the areas of change management and leadership. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the Harvard Business Review and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Maia Bernstein’s mother

Maia Bernstein's mother

Yasmeen Ghauri is the mother of Maia Bernstein. Ghauri was born on March 23, 1971. Her parents, a Pakistani father and a German mother, met while living in Montreal, Canada. She grew up being teased at school by her classmates since she is of Pakistani descent. Ghauri claimed in an Instagram post that she was frequently asked if she was Pakistani or Indian. 

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Given that her father was born in Hyderabad, India, but relocated to Karachi, Pakistan, at a young age owing to religious intolerance, Ghauri said she identifies as both Pakistani and Indian. According to her, her father’s family originally originated in Ghr, Afghanistan, a few more generations ago.

At the age of 17, Edward Zaccaria, a Montreal hairdresser and the artistic director of Platine Coiffure, came across Ghauri while she was employed at a McDonald’s restaurant and encouraged her to be a model.

Ghauri actively pursued a modelling career, despite her parents’ objections. She made her debut in Milan and Paris before relocating to New York City in 1990. She caught the attention of both labels and fashion reviewers there. Her runway walk was described as a “ball-bearing swivel of her hips” by The New York Times. Her appearance played a role in the “Canadian invasion” of fashion that is now known. She retired from modelling in 1997.

She is married to lawyer Ralph Bernstein and together, they have two children: a boy named Victor and their daughter Maia.

Maia Bernstein’s Instagram page

Bernstein is not so active on her Instagram account. Yet, she has 1,877 followers on her page, as of the time of filing this piece.


Maia Bernstein is a young woman having fun. Although she is active as a poet and organises leadership transformation programmes frequently, she stays out of the spotlight.

Therefore, it is currently unable to access any sources with information about her dating life.

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Esther is versatile writer who thrives in writing top-notch long-form articles. She enjoys research and has an eye for details. She's currently a writer at BlackDot Media.
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