Board of Directors for PAAIA, IA-100, and IAPAC | PAAIA

IA-100 Board of Directors

IA-100 is PAAIA’s 501c(3) organization

Pouria Abbassi is the Executive Director and CEO of Associated Students UCLA (ASUCLA), a non-profit organization that provides retail and student union services to the University of California.

Previously, Abbassi was President and CEO of the Golbanoo Group, a specialty business management & consulting firm supporting large scale real estate developments, emerging renewable resources innovations, and digital health and wellness platforms and technologies.

In his previous engagement, Abbassi led Phoenix Houses of California, Inc. (PHC) as its President, overseeing the entire California operations through four companies, across 17 facilities, over 30 programs and a versatile array of behavioral health services available to Californians. During his tenure, PHC achieved a 70% increase in terms of lives touched, a 30% increase in revenues, and significant diversification of products and services.

Prior to Phoenix House, Abbassi was the CEO of Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), a major regional economic engine generating $1B in annual net economic activity and supporting 12,000 jobs. Abbassi developed and implemented a strategic business plan, built upon three pillars of community, business and environment, to significantly enhance the performance output of the LACC. Under his leadership, LACC achieved unprecedented financial, environmental and market results unmatched in the industry anywhere in the nation. Prior to joining the LACC, he led teams in project engineering, debt financing, financial modeling, environmental analysis and information technology implementation.

A registered mechanical engineer in the State of California and a graduate of UCLA School of Engineering and Anderson School of Management/Executive Management Program, Abbassi has published several scientific papers and is a recipient of over 30 business and performance awards. He sits on the boards of the Los Angeles Business Council, Providence Tarzana Hospital Foundation, Woodbury University, PAAIA, Norooz Celebration Foundation, and works with various other community organizations. Pouria is also an active member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. A firm believer in youth nourishment and education, Abbassi frequently gives presentations on leadership and visioning to student groups ranging from elementary schools through graduate schools and mentors young professionals in their careers.

Sherry Bahrambeygui joined The Price Group, LLC in October of 2006 and has been a managing member since 2007. She currently is Vice Chairperson, Executive Vice President and Secretary of Price Charities and Price Family Charitable Fund, each non-profit public benefit corporations. Ms. Bahrambeygui is also a Director of PriceSmart, Inc., a publicly traded company, and Chief Executive Officer of PS Ivanhoe, LLC, a commercial real estate company. She is also a founding partner of the law firm Hosey & Bahrambeygui, Attorneys at Law, LLP, where she specialized in business litigation, employment and health law.

After undergraduate studies at Columbia University and graduating from the University of California at San Diego, she became a licensed stockbroker and worked for Prudential Securities. Ms. Bahrambeygui was Notes and Comments Editor of the Law Review at California Western School of Law. She also received the Westbrook Outstanding Advocacy A ward and the Trustee’s Award for the most laudable achievements in law school as well as placing second in the country in a National Trial Advocacy Competition.

After Law School, Ms. Bahrambeygui was the recipient of the Phillip J. Sharp National Public Service Award by the American Trial Lawyer’s Association in 1998, and she received two Outstanding Trial Lawyer’s Awards by the San Diego Consumer Trial Lawyers in 1999 and again in 2005. Ms. Bahrambeygui was named as one of San Diego’s “40 Under 40,” in 2002, and has been named as one of San Diego’s Super Lawyers consistently since 2008. Ms. Bahrambeygui maintains an “A V” rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating, by her peers in the legal community.

Ms. Bahrambeygui has written and lectured extensively before the American Trial Lawyers of America, Consumer Attorneys of California, San Diego County Medical Society, California Medical Association, Allegheny County Trial Lawyer’s Association and several other legal and professional organizations across the nation. She was a co-drafter of the Patient Bill of Rights by the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights. Ms. Bahrambeygui has testified on the impact of fee caps on medical and other tort claims before a US Congressional sub-committee. She has also held appointments to the Special Committee for Medical Professional Liability for the American Bar Association. Ms. Bahrambeygui has served on several additional non-profit Boards of Directors, including La Jolla Country Day School. She is married to Patrick L. Hosey and is the proud mother to 14 year old twin boys.

Ali Ebrahimi was born in Iran where he finished high school. Upon graduation he came to the United States, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Catholic University in Washington DC.

In 1968 he returned to Iran where he founded Gostaresh Makan Company, which became the largest residential development company in the country. The company built in excess of 8,000 homes and related infrastructures and constructed several remote townships to support the growing oil and mining industries in Iran.

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Mr. Ebrahimi’s entire assets were confiscated by the new Government in Iran and he moved permanently to the United States. He assumed control of Ersa Grae Corporation, which he had founded 2 years earlier, and continued developing mixed-use residential and/or commercial projects in the U.S.  Since then, Ersa Grae has grown rapidly, having developed two million square feet of commercial space and several thousand acres of residential communities.

Mr. Ebrahimi has been active in various US and Iranian community affairs.  He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and a director of World Affairs Council.

Mr. Ebrahimi is married and has five children.

Forough Hosseini is the Board Chair of PAAIA, Inc.  Born and raised in Iran, Forough came to United States to continue her education in 1977. She earned a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from University of Central Florida. Forough is the Executive VP of Information Systems for ICI Homes, a company started by her and her husband in 1980.

ICI currently develops and builds in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. ICI Homes, built on bold vision, has consistently garnered a cadre of prestigious awards and far-reaching notoriety, not the least of which is its consistent ranking among the Top 100 Builders in the nation by Builder Magazine.

Forough has continually worked alongside her husband since ICI’s inception. She has been responsible for designing and managing ICI’s systems for the past 29 years.

Forough is a member and board member of many local and national organizations and participates in and contributes to numerous local, national and international charities and causes.

Forough was awarded the Prestigious 2009 Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America’s unique cultural mosaic. Later in 2009, Forough was presented with the Philanthropist of the Year award from PARSA Community Foundation at the organization’s Annual Awards presentation held in San Francisco. The award was designed to honor an individual who is self-made, has achieved world-class success in his/her field, and has culminated that success in civic leadership by actively perpetuating the American Dream for others. According to PARSA CF Co-Founder and board member, Anousheh Ansari, “Forough is a shining example of the strong role that women play in philanthropy the world over.”

Forough and her husband were the 2010 recipients of the Council on Aging “Glenn and Connie Ritchey Community Service Award” and Halifax Habitat for Humanity’s first “Spirit of Hope” award in 2009. A Habitat home was built in their honor.

In Jan 2011, she was awarded the prestigious Herbert M. Davidson Award for Outstanding Community Service for her work with homeless children and her contributions to education. Forough was selected as one of the most “Influential Women in Business” in 2008 and was the recipient of the “Juneteenth Hometown Hero” among many other awards.

She started Forough B. Hosseini Family Foundation with the mission of helping local homeless and underprivileged children enrolled in public schools stay in school by providing after-school programs that involve tutoring, sports, activities and food. The program also follows the participating students through high-school and invites them to apply for scholarships to attend college. Forough was the 2008 recipient of the “Field of Dreams” Achievement Award from one of the schools her foundation sponsors.

Forough was appointed by Governor Bush and later reappointed by Governor Crist to the Daytona State College’s Board of Trustees, serving as the Chair for two years. She currently serves on Central Florida Myregion’s Board and has been part of its Executive Committee since its inception over a decade ago. Led by a group of public, private and civic leaders, myregion.org is advocating unprecedented cooperation among community leaders to create a coordinated, comprehensive plan for Central Florida’s future ensuring Central Florida’s place in the global economy and improving opportunities for generations to come.

Forough has served on the United Way’s board and continues to serve on the United Way’s Foundation Board and its Executive Committee for over a decade. She has served on numerous boards including the Museum of Arts and Sciences, American Heart Association, March of Dimes as well as Women in Your Life, Success by Six, among others.

Forough and her husband Mori, avid believers of giving back to a community that has offered them so much, contributed to the Hospitality Management building at Daytona State College. The building, Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management, is named in Mori’s honor. Forough’s family funded the Southeast Museum of Photography’s main gallery, titled after her maiden name “The Babazadeh Gallery”, housed in Mori Hosseini Center.

Other organizations and institutions that have benefited from the Hosseinis’ generosity include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where the Sports Complex is named The ICI Center, Bethune Cookman University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, Toys for Tots, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Advocacy Center, Children’s Home Society, the United Way, the Symphony Society, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Lively Arts Center, Twin Towers Disaster Relief Fund, NPR, Operation Caring through Sharing among many others.

She is one of the founders and was the past President of the Iranian American Society of Daytona Beach and chairs the Arts and Culture Consortium partnering with local universities, colleges and museums. The consortium sponsors lectures, international art and cultural programs. The Hosseinis and their three daughters make their home in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Akbar A. Lari heads the Claremont Group. His experience is equally divided between construction projects in Iran and real estate developments in the New York Metropolitan area. As a principal of a group of construction firms he co-founded in the 1970s in Iran, Lari built large-scale industrial and residential projects.

In 1978 alone, the Group, which employed over 5,000 men and completed $130 million in construction was seized and subsequently nationalized. In 1979, Lari formed the Claremont Group in New York, which soon developed a number of successful real estate projects in the New York Metropolitan area. Projects varied from high-rise condominiums in New York City, to suburban office buildings. During the 1990s, Lari diversified the group into hotel development, and office buildings, some of which were leased to the Federal Government.

Lari was awarded the 2003 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding citizenship, individual achievement, and encouragement of cultural unity. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is sanctioned by the United States Congress. The medals were conceived to pay tribute to the immigrant experience and remarkable individual achievements.

Lari is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America, National Organization. WACA is a nationwide association of educational member organizations, which serves more than 80 communities across the United States. Lari received both a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from New York University.

Nader A. Mousavi is a partner and co-head of the Intellectual Property Group at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  Mr. Mousavi has been widely recognized as a leading deal-maker and strategist for high-stakes transactions where intellectual property and technology are critical.  His recognitions include being named as one of the:

  • Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal,
  • Leading lawyers in America in IT and IT outsourcing by Chambers USA,
  • World’s leading patent licensing lawyers by IAM Licensing 250, and
  • Top “40 under 40” business professionals by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal (2007) and Boston Business Journal(2004).

Mr. Mousavi’s practice includes advising clients in a wide range of intellectual property and technology-related matters, including licensing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, collaborations, financings, outsourcing, monetization, research, development, manufacturing, distribution, supply and settlement arrangements.  His clients have included Anheuser-Busch Inbev, ASML, Broadcom, Cablevision, Cisco, Intel, Kodak, Silver Lake, Skype, Softbank and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  For example, Mr. Mousavi served as the lead intellectual property and technology counsel to:

  • Anheuser-Busch Inbev, in its divestiture to Constellation Beers of U.S. rights in Grupo Modelo brands such as “Corona”,
  • Intel, in its worldwide patent licenses and settlements with AMD and Nvidia,
  • ING, in its divestiture of ING Direct USA to Capital One for $9 billion,
  • Kodak, in its sale of 1,100 digital imaging patents to Intellectual Ventures and licensing to Apple, Facebook, Google, and Samsung, among others, and
  • Silver Lake and Skype in the settlement of its intellectual property disputes with Skype’s founders and later in the sale of Skype to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.

Prior to Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Mr. Mousavi was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (WilmerHale), where co-founded the firm’s Palo Alto office.  Prior to WilmerHale, Mr. Mousavi led strategy and legal affairs at a telecommunications software company that pioneered the “softswitch” and was ultimately acquired by a broadband infrastructure company.

Mr. Mousavi is the National Chair for alumni reunions at Stanford Law School.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board for Stanford Law School’s Program in Law, Science & Technology, and of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Licensing Executive Society.

Mr. Mousavi is a graduate of U.C.L.A. (B.A., summa cum laude, 1993) and Stanford Law School (J.D., 1997).

Francis Najafi is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pivotal Group, a thirty year old investment firm located in Phoenix, Arizona, with experience in private equity investments and all major real estate product types.

Najafi served on the Board of Directors of Network Solutions, NxSystems and Western Alliance Bancorporation.Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of EastWest Institute, is a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI), and serves as Governor of the ULI Foundation. Najafi is also active in the World President’s Organization (WPO) and Chief Executive’s Organization (CEO).

Locally, Najafi is a member of the Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), a Trustee of Thunderbird – The School of Global Management, and a Foundation Board member of Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).He is a member of the President’s Club at ASU and serves on ASU’s Business School, Dean’s Council.

Najafi’s interest and commitment to community service spans the world. Through his charitable foundation, Najafi and his family are able to support their wide-ranging philanthropic interests. Najafi completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Arizona State University, followed by two Master’s Degrees from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the University of Southern California (USC).While a Ph.D. candidate in International Political Economy at USC, he began his entrepreneurial activities.

Asghar Nosrati migrated to the United States in 1974. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1979. He worked on several state-funded fluid dynamic research projects as he completed his Master’s degree in Engineering in 1981. During his graduate studies he also co-authored and published several papers in coal slurry pipelines. In 1994 he was invited to a seminar at Sharif University in Tehran, Iran to teach Construction Management Philosophy used in his U.S.A. projects to Engineering students.

He worked at several International Engineering and Construction companies in different management positions, managing heavy industrial projects. His last position was the Director of Construction for Southeastern U.S. and Central and South America for parsons before he Co-founded AmeriCo Energy Resources, LLC, an exploration and production company in the oil and gas industry in 1998.

Today, AmeriCo is a multimillion dollar oil and gas company operating hundreds of wells in several states in the U.S. He also founded Nosha Enterprises, Inc., a real estate investment firm. As President and CEO of Nosha, he developed it on a multimillion dollar real estate investment. He was one of the Founders and Board Members of the Society of Iranian Professional of Houston that started in early 1980. He is currently a member of Iranian Cultural Foundation and Association of Iranian American Professionals. Asghar and his wife, Shoaleh, have been married for over 29 years and have three children. They both are very active in many local non-profit organizations. Shoaleh serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and currently is the President of the Society of Iranian American Women for Education (SIAWE).

Pirooz Parvarandeh is an internationally renowned technologist, investor, and consultant. Until March 2015, he served as Chief Technology Officer at Maxim Integrated Products, a position he had held since 2009. Prior to that, he had been a Group President of several of the company’s analog business units since 2005. Pirooz joined Maxim in 1987 and brought Maxim several years of design experience. Pirooz is the founder of the Iranian American Contributions Project.

As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Pirooz championed efforts to stimulate technical innovation throughout Maxim, managing the company’s Technology Development and Innovation Group which comprises Process Technology R&D, Electronic Design Automation (EDA), Modeling, and ESD. Pirooz also oversaw Maxim Labs, an organization chartered to deliver fundamental innovative, breakthrough technology for the company. Under his leadership, selected engineers have had the opportunity to focus for long periods of time on difficult problems without interruptions. In recent years Maxim has seen a significant rise in the number of its patent applications.

Over the years Pirooz has been an industry leader in developing new technologies. In 2012 he joined the CTO Forum Advisory Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing industry’s most important technical issues. He holds three patents in the U.S. and has 14 other patents pending. Pirooz holds BSEE and MSEE degrees from the California Institute of Technology.

Fred Pezeshkan is a 30-year veteran of the real estate development and construction industry in Florida, and is Chairman of Manhattan Construction Florida, formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.

In addition to his business career, he has a long career of community service and has helped to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his support of education in Florida, the “Leadership in Fostering Education” award from Edison College, and is a member of the Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame.

He currently serves on the boards of Hope Hospice, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. In addition, he has co-chaired the American Heart Association Southwest Florida Heart Ball and the Community School of Naples Angel Ball. He is chairman emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Foundation Board, has co-chaired the Governor’s Family Literacy Celebration of Reading in Southwest Florida for 13 years, and previously served on boards of directors for Village Banc, Northern Trust Southeast Region Advisory Board, NCH Healthcare Foundation, and Ave Maria University Board of Regents. He has served as chairman of the Economic Development Council of Collier County and is a member of The Florida Council of 100.

Fred graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering.  Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons, Kourosh and Alexander; and two daughters, Karina and Sophia.

Faraj Saghri is a Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan and has served in a number of leadership roles over 30 years with the firm. His role at the firm today is to help oversee strategic client relationships across J.P. Morgan.

He recently served as Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan’s U.K. and Northern European Wealth Management business and as a Member of the Board of J.P. Morgan International Bank. He was Chairman of the London Management Committee and a member of both the European and U.S. Private Banks’ Operating Committees.

Faraj founded the Private Bank’s Global Financial Sponsor Group. The Group provides wealth management advice to partners in the private equity industry and other strategic clients of J.P. Morgan. The Group oversees $65 billion of client assets for 900 partners and serves the banking needs of more than 100 leading private equity firms.

Faraj joined J.P. Morgan’s heritage institution, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, in 1987. His first assignment was with the Corporate Finance Group’s North American Division. He later joined the Private Banking & Securities Industry Division and helped establish their Los Angeles and Chicago offices.

Faraj is a graduate of Trinity College, Connecticut and attended the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Foreign Affairs. Other Memberships, Boards, and Activities:

• Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York
• Vice Chairman and Founder of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans
• Board of Fellows of Trinity College, Connecticut
• J.P. Morgan’s Military Veterans’ Affairs Committee
• Council of the Serpentine Galleries, London
• New York Yacht Club, New York
• Queenwood Golf Club, Ottershaw, U.K.
• Aspetuck Valley Country Club, Weston, Connecticut
• Faraj is an avid sailor and golfer and lives in Connecticut with his wife, and two sons.

Soroush Richard Shehabi has three decades of experience in media, law, policy and politics, with expertise in energy/environmental security, U.S.-Iran policy and political organizing.  Mr. Shehabi graduated from Harvard University where he studied international relations and global environmental security under Professors Joseph Nye and Stanley Hoffmann and earned high honors for his thesis. He received his JD at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Mr. Shehabi has worked as a financial analyst for Salomon Brothers in New York, as an attorney, first for the law firm of Christensen, White, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser & Shapiro in Los Angeles, and then for the Untied States Department of Justice in Washington during the Clinton and then Bush administrations.  Mr. Shehabi’s experience in politics started with Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid and continued with Vice President Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, General Wesley Clark presidential campaign in 2004, where he served as senior policy adviser for energy and environment, and Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he served as deputy political director and constituency director for Pennsylvania under Tony Podesta.

Mr. Shehabi is Vice Chairman of the Board of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Board of the Near East Foundation, one of the oldest non-profit aid and development organizations in America.  Mr. Shehabi is also a founding Board Member of the Iranian American Bar Association and the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), on whose board he has served since inception, from 2002 to 2014.  In 2008, he helped merge IAPAC with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), on whose board he also serves.

Currently, Mr. Shehabi is the CEO and publisher of Washington Life Magazine and an owner of Celebrity Service International, a global 70-year-old business-to-business media information company based in New York and Los Angeles.  Mr. Shehabi is passionate about documentary films, and was executive producer of the “film-anthropy” project “Kicking It,” a film about the homeless world cup of soccer which debuted at the Sundance, Tribeca and SilverDocs film festivals before recouping its investment and helping support street soccer leagues in the US and abroad through theatrical, online and television distribution.

PAAIA Board of Directors

PAAIA, Inc. is PAAIA’s 501c(4) organization

Pouria Abbassi is the Executive Director and CEO of Associated Students UCLA (ASUCLA), a non-profit organization that provides retail and student union services to the University of California.

Previously, Abbassi was President and CEO of the Golbanoo Group, a specialty business management & consulting firm supporting large scale real estate developments, emerging renewable resources innovations, and digital health and wellness platforms and technologies.

In his previous engagement, Abbassi led Phoenix Houses of California, Inc. (PHC) as its President, overseeing the entire California operations through four companies, across 17 facilities, over 30 programs and a versatile array of behavioral health services available to Californians. During his tenure, PHC achieved a 70% increase in terms of lives touched, a 30% increase in revenues, and significant diversification of products and services.

Prior to Phoenix House, Abbassi was the CEO of Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), a major regional economic engine generating $1B in annual net economic activity and supporting 12,000 jobs. Abbassi developed and implemented a strategic business plan, built upon three pillars of community, business and environment, to significantly enhance the performance output of the LACC. Under his leadership, LACC achieved unprecedented financial, environmental and market results unmatched in the industry anywhere in the nation. Prior to joining the LACC, he led teams in project engineering, debt financing, financial modeling, environmental analysis and information technology implementation.

A registered mechanical engineer in the State of California and a graduate of UCLA School of Engineering and Anderson School of Management/Executive Management Program, Abbassi has published several scientific papers and is a recipient of over 30 business and performance awards. He sits on the boards of the Los Angeles Business Council, Providence Tarzana Hospital Foundation, Woodbury University, PAAIA, Norooz Celebration Foundation, and works with various other community organizations. Pouria is also an active member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. A firm believer in youth nourishment and education, Abbassi frequently gives presentations on leadership and visioning to student groups ranging from elementary schools through graduate schools and mentors young professionals in their careers.

Ali Ebrahimi was born in Iran where he finished high school. Upon graduation he came to the United States, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Catholic University in Washington DC.

In 1968 he returned to Iran where he founded Gostaresh Makan Company, which became the largest residential development company in the country. The company built in excess of 8,000 homes and related infrastructures and constructed several remote townships to support the growing oil and mining industries in Iran.

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Mr. Ebrahimi’s entire assets were confiscated by the new Government in Iran and he moved permanently to the United States. He assumed control of Ersa Grae Corporation, which he had founded 2 years earlier, and continued developing mixed-use residential and/or commercial projects in the U.S.  Since then, Ersa Grae has grown rapidly, having developed two million square feet of commercial space and several thousand acres of residential communities.

Mr. Ebrahimi has been active in various US and Iranian community affairs.  He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and a director of World Affairs Council.

Mr. Ebrahimi is married and has five children.

Forough Hosseini is the Board Chair of PAAIA, Inc.  Born and raised in Iran, Forough came to United States to continue her education in 1977. She earned a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from University of Central Florida. Forough is the Executive VP of Information Systems for ICI Homes, a company started by her and her husband in 1980.

ICI currently develops and builds in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. ICI Homes, built on bold vision, has consistently garnered a cadre of prestigious awards and far-reaching notoriety, not the least of which is its consistent ranking among the Top 100 Builders in the nation by Builder Magazine.

Forough has continually worked alongside her husband since ICI’s inception. She has been responsible for designing and managing ICI’s systems for the past 29 years.

Forough is a member and board member of many local and national organizations and participates in and contributes to numerous local, national and international charities and causes.

Forough was awarded the Prestigious 2009 Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America’s unique cultural mosaic. Later in 2009, Forough was presented with the Philanthropist of the Year award from PARSA Community Foundation at the organization’s Annual Awards presentation held in San Francisco. The award was designed to honor an individual who is self-made, has achieved world-class success in his/her field, and has culminated that success in civic leadership by actively perpetuating the American Dream for others. According to PARSA CF Co-Founder and board member, Anousheh Ansari, “Forough is a shining example of the strong role that women play in philanthropy the world over.”

Forough and her husband were the 2010 recipients of the Council on Aging “Glenn and Connie Ritchey Community Service Award” and Halifax Habitat for Humanity’s first “Spirit of Hope” award in 2009. A Habitat home was built in their honor.

In Jan 2011, she was awarded the prestigious Herbert M. Davidson Award for Outstanding Community Service for her work with homeless children and her contributions to education. Forough was selected as one of the most “Influential Women in Business” in 2008 and was the recipient of the “Juneteenth Hometown Hero” among many other awards.

She started Forough B. Hosseini Family Foundation with the mission of helping local homeless and underprivileged children enrolled in public schools stay in school by providing after-school programs that involve tutoring, sports, activities and food. The program also follows the participating students through high-school and invites them to apply for scholarships to attend college. Forough was the 2008 recipient of the “Field of Dreams” Achievement Award from one of the schools her foundation sponsors.

Forough was appointed by Governor Bush and later reappointed by Governor Crist to the Daytona State College’s Board of Trustees, serving as the Chair for two years. She currently serves on Central Florida Myregion’s Board and has been part of its Executive Committee since its inception over a decade ago. Led by a group of public, private and civic leaders, myregion.org is advocating unprecedented cooperation among community leaders to create a coordinated, comprehensive plan for Central Florida’s future ensuring Central Florida’s place in the global economy and improving opportunities for generations to come.

Forough has served on the United Way’s board and continues to serve on the United Way’s Foundation Board and its Executive Committee for over a decade. She has served on numerous boards including the Museum of Arts and Sciences, American Heart Association, March of Dimes as well as Women in Your Life, Success by Six, among others.

Forough and her husband Mori, avid believers of giving back to a community that has offered them so much, contributed to the Hospitality Management building at Daytona State College. The building, Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management, is named in Mori’s honor. Forough’s family funded the Southeast Museum of Photography’s main gallery, titled after her maiden name “The Babazadeh Gallery”, housed in Mori Hosseini Center.

Other organizations and institutions that have benefited from the Hosseinis’ generosity include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where the Sports Complex is named The ICI Center, Bethune Cookman University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, Toys for Tots, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Advocacy Center, Children’s Home Society, the United Way, the Symphony Society, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Lively Arts Center, Twin Towers Disaster Relief Fund, NPR, Operation Caring through Sharing among many others.

She is one of the founders and was the past President of the Iranian American Society of Daytona Beach and chairs the Arts and Culture Consortium partnering with local universities, colleges and museums. The consortium sponsors lectures, international art and cultural programs. The Hosseinis and their three daughters make their home in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Asghar Nosrati migrated to the United States in 1974. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1979. He worked on several state-funded fluid dynamic research projects as he completed his Master’s degree in Engineering in 1981. During his graduate studies he also co-authored and published several papers in coal slurry pipelines. In 1994 he was invited to a seminar at Sharif University in Tehran, Iran to teach Construction Management Philosophy used in his U.S.A. projects to Engineering students.

He worked at several International Engineering and Construction companies in different management positions, managing heavy industrial projects. His last position was the Director of Construction for Southeastern U.S. and Central and South America for parsons before he Co-founded AmeriCo Energy Resources, LLC, an exploration and production company in the oil and gas industry in 1998.

Today, AmeriCo is a multimillion dollar oil and gas company operating hundreds of wells in several states in the U.S. He also founded Nosha Enterprises, Inc., a real estate investment firm. As President and CEO of Nosha, he developed it on a multimillion dollar real estate investment. He was one of the Founders and Board Members of the Society of Iranian Professional of Houston that started in early 1980. He is currently a member of Iranian Cultural Foundation and Association of Iranian American Professionals. Asghar and his wife, Shoaleh, have been married for over 29 years and have three children. They both are very active in many local non-profit organizations. Shoaleh serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and currently is the President of the Society of Iranian American Women for Education (SIAWE).

Fred Pezeshkan is a 30-year veteran of the real estate development and construction industry in Florida, and is Chairman of Manhattan Construction Florida, formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.

In addition to his business career, he has a long career of community service and has helped to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his support of education in Florida, the “Leadership in Fostering Education” award from Edison College, and is a member of the Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame.

He currently serves on the boards of Hope Hospice, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. In addition, he has co-chaired the American Heart Association Southwest Florida Heart Ball and the Community School of Naples Angel Ball. He is chairman emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Foundation Board, has co-chaired the Governor’s Family Literacy Celebration of Reading in Southwest Florida for 13 years, and previously served on boards of directors for Village Banc, Northern Trust Southeast Region Advisory Board, NCH Healthcare Foundation, and Ave Maria University Board of Regents. He has served as chairman of the Economic Development Council of Collier County and is a member of The Florida Council of 100.

Fred graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering.  Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons, Kourosh and Alexander; and two daughters, Karina and Sophia.

Soroush Richard Shehabi has three decades of experience in media, law, policy and politics, with expertise in energy/environmental security, U.S.-Iran policy and political organizing.  Mr. Shehabi graduated from Harvard University where he studied international relations and global environmental security under Professors Joseph Nye and Stanley Hoffmann and earned high honors for his thesis. He received his JD at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Mr. Shehabi has worked as a financial analyst for Salomon Brothers in New York, as an attorney, first for the law firm of Christensen, White, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser & Shapiro in Los Angeles, and then for the Untied States Department of Justice in Washington during the Clinton and then Bush administrations.  Mr. Shehabi’s experience in politics started with Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid and continued with Vice President Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, General Wesley Clark presidential campaign in 2004, where he served as senior policy adviser for energy and environment, and Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he served as deputy political director and constituency director for Pennsylvania under Tony Podesta.

Mr. Shehabi is Vice Chairman of the Board of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Board of the Near East Foundation, one of the oldest non-profit aid and development organizations in America.  Mr. Shehabi is also a founding Board Member of the Iranian American Bar Association and the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), on whose board he has served since inception, from 2002 to 2014.  In 2008, he helped merge IAPAC with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), on whose board he also serves.

Currently, Mr. Shehabi is the CEO and publisher of Washington Life Magazine and an owner of Celebrity Service International, a global 70-year-old business-to-business media information company based in New York and Los Angeles.  Mr. Shehabi is passionate about documentary films, and was executive producer of the “film-anthropy” project “Kicking It,” a film about the homeless world cup of soccer which debuted at the Sundance, Tribeca and SilverDocs film festivals before recouping its investment and helping support street soccer leagues in the US and abroad through theatrical, online and television distribution.

Public Policy Advisers

These are experts in their respective fields who advise us on various issues

Farhad Alavi’s practice focuses on international and domestic corporate matters including sophisticated trade issues (including U.S. sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption regulations, and compliance), multinational investment, and transnational banking & finance.  His clients include major multinational companies in the United States and abroad as well as small businesses and high net worth individuals.

Prior to founding Akrivis Law Group, Mr. Alavi was partner of BHFA Law Group, PLLC and operated his own practice. He previously practiced in several firms in Washington, most notably at major global industry leaders Baker & McKenzie LLP (2009-2010) and Holland & Knight LLP (2005-2009), where he also had a dual, concurrent appointment in the firm’s Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) office.

Mr. Alavi has vast experience in international sanctions (including those promulgated by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)), export controls, customs, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).   His U.S. sanctions experience include those in place against Cuba, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Syria, and North Korea.  Mr. Alavi is internationally recognized with respect to U.S. sanctions on Iran and is often quoted in major international and trade publications around the world such as the New York TimesFinancial Times, Arabian Business, and MoneyLaundering.com, and has appeared on the BBC.  He also often lectures on this topic, and more broadly export controls and sanctions compliance.   In addition to compliance, Mr. Alavi advises clients on criminal IEEPA defense matters.

Mr. Alavi’s experience also spans a range of corporate issues such as international joint venture, distribution, and financing agreements.  He has particular experience in the oil & gas, defense, finance, health care, foodstuffs, and hospitality industries, and is particularly well-versed in issues related to projects and dealings involving key emerging and frontier markets, including China, Latin America, and the MENA region, with emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Mr. Alavi received his LL.M. in Banking & Financial Law from Boston University School of Law, where he served on theAnnual Review of Banking and Financial Law journal. He received his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. During law school, he spent time studying at University College London (UCL) and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and interned at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  Mr. Alavi received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.

A native of Virginia, Mr. Alavi is fluent in Spanish and in Persian (Farsi) and has knowledge of German and Arabic.  He also maintains the MENA Lawyer and U.S. Sanctions weblogs.  Mr. Alavi is currently a member of the national Board of Directors of the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA), having also served in this capacity in 2008 and 2010

Erich Ferrari’s main areas of practice are assisting clients in complying with and addressing issues related to U.S. trade sanctions and federal criminal defense. In this capacity he works extensively on issues arising before the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). In addition, he has a strong background in national security law having formerly served as a research fellow and consultant to the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law.

In his trade sanctions practice, Mr. Ferrari represents both private individuals and entities in a variety of matters before OFAC seeking to not only protect their rights in current legal matters, but also to make certain that they become informed and aware of what it takes to comply with U.S. trade sanctions. Due to the reach of U.S. trade sanctions law, a number of Mr. Ferrari’s clients are located in various parts of the U.S. and in several countries across the world.

Mr. Ferrari’s representations before OFAC frequently involve investigations concerning violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions Regulations. As part of these representations, Mr. Ferrari has worked to have names removed from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals List, answer administrative subpoenas issued during the course of an OFAC investigation, procure OFAC specific licenses to engage in transactions prohibited by OFAC, draft voluntary self-disclosures, develop and implement OFAC compliance programs for international import-export companies, and provide general counseling on OFAC related matters.

Mr. Ferrari actively writes on OFAC administered trade sanctions and has been published on the matter. In addition, he is often called upon by media outlets to speak on U.S. trade sanctions issues. He has been interviewed on OFAC related issues by CNN, Time Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, and Moneylaundering.com. He is the founder and author of a U.S. trade sanctions blog: www.sanctionlaw.com.

Andy Halataei serves as a senior vice president of government affairs for the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Andy came to ITI in February of 2011 as director of government relations and he is responsible for handling privacy issues, immigration and cybersecurity for the association. For the previous four years, Halataei was a government affairs consultant at the Stanton Park Group where he tracked and offered direction on legislative and regulatory developments in the areas of telecommunications, intellectual property, health care, immigration and energy.

Prior to joining the Stanton Park Group in November 2006, Andy Halataei spent nine years on Capitol Hill. He served for five years as Legislative Director to Congressman J. Randy Forbes of Virginia. As Legislative Director to Congressman Forbes, Andy oversaw the Congressman’s legislative staff and agenda, focusing primarily on telecommunications, appropriations, budget, and tax issues.  In addition, Andy managed Congressman Forbes activities on the House Judiciary Committee.

Before joining Forbes staff, Andy was Senior Legislative Assistant to Oklahoma Congressman Steve Largent where he also specialized in handling Largent’s work before the House Energy and Commerce Committee including health care, the environment, and financial services issues.  During his time with Largent he helped to secure passage in the House of the Date Certain Tax Code Replacement Act, legislation that would sunset the internal revenue code. Prior to joining Congressman Largent’s office, Andy was a Legislative Assistant in the office of Representative Gil Gutknecht (R-MN).

Andy received a B.S. in Public Administration and a B.A. in Political Science from James Madison University in 1997. He is a native of Arlington, Virginia and currently resides there as well.

Afshin Molavi is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, where he writes widely on the politics and economics of Middle East states. A journalist and author, his articles and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, Businessweek, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Journal of Commerce, National Geographic, and several academic and specialty publications. A former Dubai-based correspondent for the Reuters news agency and Tehran-based correspondent for the Washington Post, Molavi frequently comments on Middle East affairs in the world’s media, including BBC, CNN, and NPR.

He is the critically acclaimed author of the “Soul of Iran,” (W.W Norton), which was described by Foreign Affairs as “a brilliant tableau of today’s Iran,” by the Washington Post as “invaluable, now more than ever,” by the Columbia Journalism Review as “the best of the recent crop of Iran books,” and by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria as “one of the two best books on Iran you will ever read.” He is currently at work on a study of the “The New Silk Road” – the growing geo-commercial and economic corridor between the Middle East and Asia.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Middle East history and international economics (MA, ‘97), Molavi was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2005 as a Young Global Leader, a collection of leading thinkers, political figures, scientists, academics, and civil society actors under the age of forty.

Molavi has also worked at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, where he headed the civil society/media outreach for the Middle East/North Africa and the Southern Europe/Central Asia regions. He lives in Washington DC with his wife, Sheila, and son, Dariush.

Maryam Mujica currently works as a Manager for Twitter’s Public Policy team in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. She is responsible for DC-based international issues such as MLAT (mutual legal assistant treaty) reform, FTO (foreign terrorist organizations) policies, freedom of expression, and sensitive content issues on the platform.

Prior to joining Twitter, Maryam was at the U.S. Department of State where she was a part of the U.S. Delegation to the Iran / P5+1 talks, managing the delegation’s messaging and press issues leading up to the historic nuclear Joint Plan of Action in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2013. She previously served as Europe Press Officer in the Bureau of European Affairs, advising the State Department spokesperson on a daily basis on the U.S. position for any issue involving 22 European countries.

Maryam completed a one-year assignment at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the White House Coordinator for Middle East, North Africa, & Gulf Region. Before joining the NSC, Maryam was a desk officer in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Before her work in public service, Maryam practiced law as a litigation attorney in both large and small law firms in San Francisco followed by her time at Stanford Law School as Associate Director for External Relations. Maryam received her Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law, Masters Certificate in Public Administration from University of Virginia, and her undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Connecticut. She speaks Spanish fluently, and French and Farsi conversationally.

Alex Vatanka specializes in Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Iran. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Managing Editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, based in Washington. From 2001 to 2006, he was a senior political analyst at Jane’s in London where he mainly covered political developments in the Middle East. He joined the Middle East Institute as a scholar in 2007. Since 2006, he also lectures as a Senior Fellow in Middle East Studies at the US Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) at Hurlburt Field. Beyond Jane’s and the Middle East Institute, he has written for such outlets as Christian Science Monitor, Americas Quarterly, the Journal of International Security Affairs, BBC Persian Online, Jamestown Foundation, The World Today, Daily Beast, the Jerusalem Post and the Council of Foreign Relations. He has frequently appeared on media outlets such as the BBC World Service, CNN, MSNBC, Sky News, C-SPAN, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and CBC. A native of Iran, he holds a BA in Political Science, and an MA in International Relations, and is fluent in Farsi and Danish.

IAPAC Board of Directors

IAPAC is PAAIA’s political action committee

Farhad Alavi’s practice focuses on international and domestic corporate matters including sophisticated trade issues (including U.S. sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption regulations, and compliance), multinational investment, and transnational banking & finance.  His clients include major multinational companies in the United States and abroad as well as small businesses and high net worth individuals.

Prior to founding Akrivis Law Group, Mr. Alavi was partner of BHFA Law Group, PLLC and operated his own practice. He previously practiced in several firms in Washington, most notably at major global industry leaders Baker & McKenzie LLP (2009-2010) and Holland & Knight LLP (2005-2009), where he also had a dual, concurrent appointment in the firm’s Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) office.

Mr. Alavi has vast experience in international sanctions (including those promulgated by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)), export controls, customs, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).   His U.S. sanctions experience include those in place against Cuba, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Syria, and North Korea.  Mr. Alavi is internationally recognized with respect to U.S. sanctions on Iran and is often quoted in major international and trade publications around the world such as the New York TimesFinancial Times, Arabian Business, and MoneyLaundering.com, and has appeared on the BBC.  He also often lectures on this topic, and more broadly export controls and sanctions compliance.   In addition to compliance, Mr. Alavi advises clients on criminal IEEPA defense matters.

Mr. Alavi’s experience also spans a range of corporate issues such as international joint venture, distribution, and financing agreements.  He has particular experience in the oil & gas, defense, finance, health care, foodstuffs, and hospitality industries, and is particularly well-versed in issues related to projects and dealings involving key emerging and frontier markets, including China, Latin America, and the MENA region, with emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Mr. Alavi received his LL.M. in Banking & Financial Law from Boston University School of Law, where he served on theAnnual Review of Banking and Financial Law journal. He received his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. During law school, he spent time studying at University College London (UCL) and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and interned at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  Mr. Alavi received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.

A native of Virginia, Mr. Alavi is fluent in Spanish and in Persian (Farsi) and has knowledge of German and Arabic.  He also maintains the MENA Lawyer and U.S. Sanctions weblogs.  Mr. Alavi is currently a member of the national Board of Directors of the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA), having also served in this capacity in 2008 and 2010

As PAAIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Leila Golestaneh Austin provides operational direction and strategy with the primary role of ensuring that PAAIA’s objectives of education, advocacy, and leadership are achieved for its members and the community at large.  She oversees programs and activities that promote the role of Iranian Americans in the social, cultural, and economic tapestry of the United States and represent the community before U.S. policymakers and the American public at large.

Prior to joining PAAIA in 2015, Dr. Austin was Professorial Lecturer in Global Theory and History and Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (“SAIS”), where she also served as deputy director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute.

Dr. Austin received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and her M.A. in International Affairs from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and did her undergraduate work at Bryn Mawr College.

Nazie Eftekhari is an innovator devoted to serving people and advocating for their rights.

She is the founder of the 35 year old Araz Group and the CEO and principal architect of HealthEZ, a Minnesota-based company offering services designed to simplify health plan administration for employers and to eliminate the complexities in the health care billing and payment process for all involved.

Prior to founding HealthEZ in 1997, Ms. Eftekhari earned national recognition in 1982 for designing the nation’s first Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). The term “PPO” was coined to describe her innovation to network doctors, hospitals, and other health providers to providing services at attractive rates or to employees, insurers and administrators.

Passionate about human rights, Ms. Eftekhari established the Foundation for the Children of Iran (FCI), the nation’s first nonprofit established by an Iranian American. An organization dear to her heart, FCI has forever been 25 years dedicated to enabling indigent children from Iran or of Iranian origin to receive medical services in the United States that are not available to them in Iran.

Dedicated to service and community, Ms. Eftekhari has served on the boards of her alma mater, the University of Minnesota Medical School and Board of Overseers at Carlson School of Business, the Walker Art Center, Children’s Hospital and Clinics, and the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), and Director’s Board of the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy (NID), to name a few of her civic and philanthropic interests.  She is a member of Speaker Pelosi’s Leadership Circle and is a founding member of the Yalda Network: Mothers and Others for Iran.

Often recognized for her leadership in business and service to the community, Ms. Eftekhari was given the Carlson School of Management’s “2016 Entrepreneur of the Year” award and the 2011 International Immigrant Achievement Award from The International Leadership Institute. Her accomplishments and contributions have also been recognized through numerous awards including “Woman of the Year,” “A Twin Cities’ Woman Changemaker,” “Small Business Person of the Year,” the “Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights Award,” and “Woman of Distinction Award.” HealthEZ has been named a Top 100 Workplace by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Araz Group has been cited as one of the region’s top 25 women-owned businesses.

Ms. Eftekhari is a graduate of the London School of Economics and hold’s master’s degrees in International Relations from the University of Southern California (UK) and in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. Her son, Sahm McGlynn a film maker and her daughter, Raz McGlynn a budding entrepreneur, are unabashedly her greatest pride and joy.

Nazy Fahimi is an experienced attorney with a background in litigation, transactional and non-profit work. She began her career in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota at Winthrop & Weinstine. She later relocated to the Bay Area and continued in private practice at Bay Area law firms.

Fahimi has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust and trade regulation cases, aviation cases, breach of contract and commercial disputes, employment disputes, personal injury cases, insurance coverage and bad faith cases, as well as discrimination and civil rights cases. She also has advised individuals and corporations on various issues of compliance, regulatory issues and analysis of complex contracts. After several years in private practice she joined Pars Equality Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, where she wanted to focus on advocacy and community service, while also handling in house legal and compliance matters. In her role as Senior Director of Legal at PEC, over the span of nearly six years, Nazy collaborated with various civic and community organizations as well as government entities, conducted and presented panels and seminars on relevant topics, published updates on complex legal matters, and advised individuals in various areas of the law.

Nazy received her B.A. from Marquette University in Wisconsin. She earned her J.D. from Marquette University Law School, cum laude, graduating in the top 10 percent of her class. She served as a Member and subsequently a Note and Comment Editor of the Marquette Law Review. Nazy earned the Center for Assisted Computer Instruction (CALI) Excellence Awards as the highest scoring student in multiple classes, including in Constitutional Law. She became a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society.

She is admitted to practice law in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California and the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.

Sassan Ghahramani is founder and CEO of SGH Macro Advisors, LLC, a macro-policy research firm for hedge funds, asset managers and international financial policymakers. SGH was founded in 2009 and is based in Greenwich, CT, with affiliates in Washington DC, Brussels, London and Tokyo.

Prior to that he was President and CEO of Medley Global Advisors, a policy research firm now owned by the Financial Times. As CEO of Medley he ran the firm’s G7, Emerging Markets, and Energy services, all client and business areas, and managed the transition and sale of the firm to private equity firms in 2005 and the subsequent sale of a minority stake in 2007 to Goldman Sachs.

Before that he was an investor and a foreign exchange trader at various financial institutions, including AIG Trading, Lehman Brothers, Chemical Bank (now part of JP Morgan), and UBS in New York, where he was head of spot foreign exchange trading. He also ran and owned Tribeca Securities, a commodity, futures and equity broker-dealer.

Ghahramani was born in Tehran, Iran in a diplomatic family and spent his childhood in Canada, Russia, Iran, and Spain, where he attended the Anglo-American School of Moscow, Tehran International School, and American School of Madrid. He moved to the United States to attend Brown University, where he obtained a B.A. in International Relations, enrolled at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Master in Public Policy Program, and switched to New York University where he obtained an MBA in Finance.

Ghahramani is fluent in Spanish and Farsi, holds a black belt in Kenpo Karate, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian-American Political Action Committee based in Washington DC. He has been quoted and interviewed by numerous national and international media outlets and currently resides in Greenwich, CT.

Amir Kazeminia is the President and CEO of OCI Associates, Inc., an engineering firm based in Orlando, Florida. OCI Associates is a leader in the fields of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering, and has been operating in Florida and the Washington, DC area for over 27 years, and they maintain branch offices in Fort Pierce, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Fort Myers, Florida, and Washington, DC. OCI has worked in diverse settings, including schools and universities, hotels and resorts, residential and commercial real estate, restaurants, healthcare facilities, government properties, airports, and industrial facilities, consulting and contracting for a diverse portfolio of projects.

Dr. Houri Khalilian is a patent attorney admitted to practice before the State and Federal Courts of Maryland and Washington, D.C., the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She has represented clients in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals for 20+ years in US and internationally. Khalilian entered the practice of law in 1994 when she started working for the high profile Law Firms in Washington, D.C. which she continued for 10 years before starting her own IP Law Firm in 2004. Before entering the field of law, Khalilian was a Senior Research Scientist at Yale University, Department of Internal Medicine.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Sussex, England, in the field of Cell and Molecular Biology, and has published more than 22 scientific and legal articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, internationally. Khalilian is a zealous advocate for promoting the legal, political and societal interests of Iranian Americans in U.S. She is a Co-Founder of and Advisory Board Member of IABA, a Co-Founder of Potomac Lions Club, and active member of IAPAC, and IAW.

Asghar Nosrati migrated to the United States in 1974. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1979. He worked on several state-funded fluid dynamic research projects as he completed his Master’s degree in Engineering in 1981. During his graduate studies he also co-authored and published several papers in coal slurry pipelines. In 1994 he was invited to a seminar at Sharif University in Tehran, Iran to teach Construction Management Philosophy used in his U.S.A. projects to Engineering students.

He worked at several International Engineering and Construction companies in different management positions, managing heavy industrial projects. His last position was the Director of Construction for Southeastern U.S. and Central and South America for parsons before he Co-founded AmeriCo Energy Resources, LLC, an exploration and production company in the oil and gas industry in 1998.

Today, AmeriCo is a multimillion dollar oil and gas company operating hundreds of wells in several states in the U.S. He also founded Nosha Enterprises, Inc., a real estate investment firm. As President and CEO of Nosha, he developed it on a multimillion dollar real estate investment. He was one of the Founders and Board Members of the Society of Iranian Professional of Houston that started in early 1980. He is currently a member of Iranian Cultural Foundation and Association of Iranian American Professionals. Asghar and his wife, Shoaleh, have been married for over 29 years and have three children. They both are very active in many local non-profit organizations. Shoaleh serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and currently is the President of the Society of Iranian American Women for Education (SIAWE).

Fred Pezeshkan is a 30-year veteran of the real estate development and construction industry in Florida, and is Chairman of Manhattan Construction Florida, formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.

In addition to his business career, he has a long career of community service and has helped to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his support of education in Florida, the “Leadership in Fostering Education” award from Edison College, and is a member of the Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame.

He currently serves on the boards of Hope Hospice, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. In addition, he has co-chaired the American Heart Association Southwest Florida Heart Ball and the Community School of Naples Angel Ball. He is chairman emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Foundation Board, has co-chaired the Governor’s Family Literacy Celebration of Reading in Southwest Florida for 13 years, and previously served on boards of directors for Village Banc, Northern Trust Southeast Region Advisory Board, NCH Healthcare Foundation, and Ave Maria University Board of Regents. He has served as chairman of the Economic Development Council of Collier County and is a member of The Florida Council of 100.

Fred graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering.  Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons, Kourosh and Alexander; and two daughters, Karina and Sophia.

Milad Pooran is a physician who has served his community and country as both a civilian doctor and as a member of the US Air Force Medical Corps. A product of the Maryland public education system, he earned his undergraduate and medical degree from the University of Maryland.

After completing his residency, Dr. Pooran transitioned to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda to complete his clinical fellowships in allergy/immunology and critical care. While at the NIH, he immersed himself in HIV related research, working with and learning from some of the premier scientists in the world. Dr. Pooran went on to work in the Office of the Secretary for Health and Human Services, tackling national biodefense issues as well as H1N1 pandemic influenza. For the last two years, Dr. Pooran has served in private practice as a critical care physician and treats veterans at the VA Hospital serving western Maryland.

Dr. Pooran has spent past 13 years in the Military as an Air Force flight surgeon and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (USAF, Reserve).  During his service, he has deployed and provided support for flying and humanitarian operations on all seven continents and served as a combat medic and operational flight surgeon. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

Background Information
Party: Democrat
Residence: Jefferson, MD
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Military: Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force Reserves; US Air Force Medical Corps
Education: BA University of Maryland, MD University of Maryland

Soroush Richard Shehabi has three decades of experience in media, law, policy and politics, with expertise in energy/environmental security, U.S.-Iran policy and political organizing.  Mr. Shehabi graduated from Harvard University where he studied international relations and global environmental security under Professors Joseph Nye and Stanley Hoffmann and earned high honors for his thesis. He received his JD at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Mr. Shehabi has worked as a financial analyst for Salomon Brothers in New York, as an attorney, first for the law firm of Christensen, White, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser & Shapiro in Los Angeles, and then for the Untied States Department of Justice in Washington during the Clinton and then Bush administrations.  Mr. Shehabi’s experience in politics started with Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid and continued with Vice President Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, General Wesley Clark presidential campaign in 2004, where he served as senior policy adviser for energy and environment, and Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he served as deputy political director and constituency director for Pennsylvania under Tony Podesta.

Mr. Shehabi is Vice Chairman of the Board of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Board of the Near East Foundation, one of the oldest non-profit aid and development organizations in America.  Mr. Shehabi is also a founding Board Member of the Iranian American Bar Association and the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), on whose board he has served since inception, from 2002 to 2014.  In 2008, he helped merge IAPAC with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), on whose board he also serves.

Currently, Mr. Shehabi is the CEO and publisher of Washington Life Magazine and an owner of Celebrity Service International, a global 70-year-old business-to-business media information company based in New York and Los Angeles.  Mr. Shehabi is passionate about documentary films, and was executive producer of the “film-anthropy” project “Kicking It,” a film about the homeless world cup of soccer which debuted at the Sundance, Tribeca and SilverDocs film festivals before recouping its investment and helping support street soccer leagues in the US and abroad through theatrical, online and television distribution.

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