September 2, 2014, Laguna Niguel, CA – Over the past few years, Iranian Americans have assumed active and integral roles in various political campaigns around the country. Dr. Nikan Khatibi’s role as the Statewide Chair of Healthcare Professionals Coalition for California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is an example of the increasing civic engagement by our community.
Dr. Khatibi is an award-winning physician and published medical journal author in Southern California. As Statewide Chair of the Healthcare Professionals Coalition, Dr. Khatibi leads a team of thousands of physicians, dentists, pharmacists, healthcare executives, physician assistants, podiatrists, and many other allied health professionals who support Kashkari in his efforts to become California’s next governor. In his role, Dr. Khatibi identifies avenues for healthcare leaders and executives to engage with Kashkari, while providing a platform to mobilize these groups around Kashkari’s vision and plan for California.
“Californians are concerned about two things: jobs and education. And yet nationally, the state is ranked near the bottom in both,” Dr. Khatibi explained when asked about his involvement in Kashkari’s campaign. “Like many Americans, Neel is a first generation immigrant with a unique skill set, discipline, and tenacity to turn things around in the state. I feel he appeals to the broader array of Californians who are just tired of broken government and are looking for genuine solutions.”
Dr. Khatibi said he acquired the ambition and passion necessary to become a civic leader in his community from his family, including his two sisters. “ I lost my father last year to cancer, but he and my mother both knew that I would do anything and everything to protect the American Dream that enabled our family to make the most of our talents. And for me personally, that means speaking out about injustices, engaging in civic commitments, and supporting leaders who have a vision for a better tomorrow.”
In keeping that promise to his family, Dr. Khatibi ran for mayor of Laguna Niguel at the age of 19. Although he ultimately chose a profession in medicine, Dr. Khatibi continues his civic involvement by serving as Loma Linda’s Planning Commissioner, working on a number of city-wide projects including the development of the 400,000 square foot Veterans Affairs Medical Clinics as well as the expansion of the Loma Linda University Medical Center campuses.
Dr. Khatibi also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the California Medical Association, Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association, and volunteers to treat Southern California’s underserved at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Hurtt Family Medical Clinic. In his spare time, he enjoys mentoring young students wishing to pursue careers in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, mathematics.
These accolades and more earned him recognition in Orange County’s premier business journal, the OC Metro, where he was named a ‘Top 40 Under 40’ in 2010 and ‘California’s Doctor’ in 2013.
“Absolutely!” said Dr. Khatibi when asked whether Iranian Americans can get involved in Kashkari’s campaign. “Iranian Americans are not only one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in California, but they are also one of the highest income earners and are tremendously educated. Presently, there are a number of Iranian Americans who are actively engaged in the leadership circle of the campaign.”
For more information about Dr. Khatibi and to learn how Iranian Americans can get more involved with Kashkari’s campaign, please email him at Nikan2@aol.com.