Mahasti Afshar Appointed as PAAIA’s New Executive Director

Mahasti Afshar Appointed as PAAIA’s New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of PAAIA is very pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Mahasti Afshar as the organization’s next Executive Director.
A Harvard Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indo-European Folklore and Mythology, Mahasti brings two decades of experience in top management roles at the Getty Conservation Institute, ARCH Foundation/Austria, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, X PRIZE Foundation, and most recently, the National Geographic Society. 

In addition to Persian and English, Mahasti is proficient in French and Spanish and has studied Sanskrit, Avestan, Pahlavi and other ancient languages.  Please click here for a more detailed biography of Ms. Afshar.

“We are very excited by the prospect of Mahasti picking up where Babak Hoghooghi has ably taken the organization since its inception in August 2007,” said Hamid Biglari, Chairman of the Board of PAAIA.  “We are particularly impressed by the breadth of her non-profit experience, her high intellectual acumen, integrity, creativity, vision and commitment to PAAIA’s mission.”
Mahasti had this to say about her new responsibilities: “I feel like I’ve won a prize—I must have done something good in my life! Beginning with my work at NIRT in Tehran and the Festival of Arts in Shiraz, my career has been a series of close encounters with creative and innovative people who have wanted to give back to society, to share, because they care. Well, that’s also the profile of the PAAIA board, its staff, the local chapters, and our more than 2,200 members.”

Mahasti went on to add: “To me, PAAIA’s mission translates into helping us be better citizens. I want to help us tap into the best of our rich Iranian heritage, to help us feel enriched by our mixed Iranian American identity, be actively inspired by our democratic values, and work on common goals that benefit our own community as well as society at large. We owe this to our children and their children. We can work on our goals as individuals, but imagine what we can do as a community? The sky’s the limit! All it takes is a belief in ourselves and trust in the future.”

With Mahasti taking the helm at PAAIA, Babak Hoghooghi will join the Board of Directors as a regular Director and will continue to serve the organization in that capacity.  As PAAIA’s Executive Director, Mahasti will be an ex-officio member of the Board.  Ms. Afshar resides in Southern California.  As such, over the next few months, PAAIA’s headquarters will move to Los Angeles but the organization will maintain its Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

You are donating to : PAAIA, Inc.

How much would you like to donate?
$15 $25 $50
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note