PAAIA Reflects on a Successful Year

We strive to be the credible voice of the Iranian American community.
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Reflecting on a Highly Successful Year

As we close 2012, we reflect on all that we accomplished this year, grateful for your active involvement in our programs and your financial and intellectual support.

To put it simply, PAAIA accomplished all that it had set out to do in 2012 and more. Through our activities and programs, we were able to continuously provide an accurate image of our community, strengthen our voice, and facilitate the path of success for our youth.  In addition, our newly launched Public Policy Center quickly became the credible and go-to organization for unbiased, illuminating information about the Iranian American community.

A summary of some of our activities in support of our pillars and goals are provided below.

Our Image

We started the year by holding PAAIA’s sixth Passing the Torch of Success to high acclaim and a sold-out crowd of 700 in San Diego, California. 
Spring saw us celebrate Nowruz in style. Over 700 elementary school students, teachers, and parents benefited from the Nowruz Project and the resources developed by PAAIA on Nowruz and Iran. We also celebrated Nowruz on Capitol Hill. Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) and Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) cosponsored a reception where numerous members of Congress, over 100 staff members, and other guests joined us to celebrate this ancient tradition.  The reception provided an opportunity to demonstrate how intricately our community is woven into the economic and social fabric of the United States.

In mid-summer, following the tragic earthquake in Iran, PAAIA used our strong relationships on Capitol Hill and with the Administration to help encourage the issuance of a general license to provide humanitarian relief to the victims of the earthquake. We were also pleased to actively collaborate with and provide information to the Iranian American community on organizations providing relief to the victims.

In addition to providing and raising funds for the movie The Iran Job and the PBS documentary The Iranian Americans, we celebrated the accomplishments of individual members of our community. These included, but were not limited to, five amazing Iranian Americans who were among many others honored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for their success as immigrants, those highlighted by American Banker magazine for their accomplishment in the field of finance, and three young men who made significant contributions in the fields of engineering, physics, and medicine.

We also actively reached out to other Iranian American organizations to identify opportunities for collaboration and have made strides in forming new and effective partnerships, such as those in support of the upcoming Cyrus Cylinder Tour of the US. Cost and process efficiencies coupled with an active and capable staff and the place we hold in the Iranian American community as a viable and impactful organization has allowed us to make significant strides in promoting the needs of our rich and diverse community.

Our Voice

In April 2012, PAAIA launched the PAAIA Public Policy Center, a much needed venue for providing accurate, objective, and balanced information about the Iranian American community and the issues that are important to us. Under the center’s activities, we held three educational and timely  panel presentations on issues related to U.S.-Iran relations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, University of California Washington Center, and the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. We also participated in a meeting at the White House on engaging the Iranian American community and followed up with additional meetings with the White House, State Department,  and other administration staff. 

We conducted our fourth Annual Survey of Iranian Americans, this time with focus on possible military action against Iran, and held briefings on the survey results with State Department officials and members of Congress and their staffs. Additionally, two reports published by PAAIA, the 2012 Iran Sanctions Report and the 2011 – 2012 Congressional Scorecard, offered balanced and detailed information on issues that are important to our community.  We are proud that all of our reports are routinely used by policymakers, the general public, and the media to better understand our community, our views, and the issues that impact us.

To encourage civic participation during this important election year, PAAIA, through our 2012 Election Guide, provided information on how to register to vote as well as comprehensive information on the two primary presidential candidates and their positions on issues important to our community. 
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the affiliated PAC of PAAIA, also played an instrumental role in ensuring that our voice was heard in Washington DC as well as in districts, counties, and states throughout the country. In 2012, IAPAC contributed $90,000 to a bipartisan group of 16 members of Congress, all four congressional party committees, and 9 Iranian American candidates for public office. It also helped raise an additional $621,000 for our endorsed candidates by encouraging Iranian Americans and others to directly contribute to their campaigns. IAPAC played a key role in promoting the campaigns of various Iranian American individuals, such as Cyrus Habib of Washington, who on November 6th became the first Iranian American to be elected to the state legislature. 

Our Youth

The future could not be brighter for the younger generation in our community, and PAAIA’s NexGen is pleased to continuously play its part in facilitating this ongoing success. This year, members of NexGen provided hundreds of hours of community service. They actively participated in the electoral process by volunteering in presidential campaigns, signing up voters, fundraising, and holding educational events.

Our third annual Mentorship Program commenced in September 2012 with over 30 mentors and mentees who will be working collaboratively during a nine month period. Our 2012 – 2013 class of mentees has been highly engaged, participatory, and already empowered by this experience.

The PAAIA Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) began placing interns on Capitol Hill beginning in June 2012.  The summer and fall CHIP programs were managed flawlessly.  In 2013, we will augment CHIP by working with the White House to identify possible additional opportunities through their internship program.

PAAIA NexGen also established the NexGen Leadership Circle, bringing together accomplished young Iranian Americans for networking, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities.

Thank You!

We could not have accomplished the above without your continued support. We are thankful for the opportunity to be able to serve as the credible voice of our community in the United States and to offer programs that further strengthen our community, our voice, and our youth. We hope you will join us in doing so. 

To become a member of PAAIA, click here. To contribute to our programs, click here.

With our best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year for you and your families.

Reflecting on
a Highly

1614 20th Street NW, Washington DC 20009



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