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

Boards

PAAIA Board of Directors

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.

Forough Hosseini is the Board Chair of PAAIA, Inc. and the Executive VP of Information Systems for ICI Homes, a company founded by her and her husband, Mori. ICI Homes, built on a bold vision, has achieved far-reaching recognition including its consistent ranking among the Top 100 Builders in the nation by Builder Magazine.

Forough earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. She serves as a board member and/or member of many local and national organizations and participates in and contributes to numerous local, national and international charities and causes.

Forough’s passion for homeless children and education is only second to her passion for her family, especially her three daughters – Nellie, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School, twins – Nina, a recent graduate with a Masters of Science in Real State from the University of Florida and Nika, a recent graduate of the University of Florida’s Law School.

Amir Kazeminia was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Amir came to the United States in 1979 to continue his education where he earned his Associates’s Degree from Valencia College in Engineering Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1983. He was recognized as “Young Engineer of the Year in 1991. 

Amir is the President / CEO of OCI Associates, Inc., a Florida-based Consulting Engineering Firm that offers Mechanical, Electrical, IT/AV, Plumbing and Fire Protection design engineering. His firm serves the state of Florida through 6 office locations as well as Washington DC, Dallas, Norfolk and San Francisco. 

Amir has been married to his wife Zohreh for over 30 years. Their daughter Lilly resides in San Francisco where she works as a Value Added Investment Manager. 

As a member of several Foundations throughout the state, Amir actively supports many local charities. 

Haida Massoud-Mojdehi is an attorney, philanthropist and managing partner of ABPS, a private equity real estate investment firm. Following service as Press/Policy Liaison at the Office of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, she served as an aide to Congressman Scott Peters of the 52nd Congressional District in San Diego. 

Haida earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Communication and a minor in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego and subsequently her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. 

A community activist for more than 20 years, she has served on the boards of Project Concern International, Outside the Lens, and The Children’s School, La Jolla. She now serves on the board of International Society for Children with Cancer and The Advisory Board of USD School of Law. She is also the Co-Chair of the President’s Council for PCI/Global Communities. She was also one of the founders of Iranian American Scholarship Fund in San Diego, the Chapter Chair of PAAIA and the Co-Chair of The Iranian American Women’s symposium in San Diego.

She left Iran on the eve of the Revolution while in high school and now resides with her husband and two children in La Jolla, California.

Asghar Nosrati is co-founder and principal of Americo Energy Resources, LLC. an Oil and Gas Exploration and Production company specializing in the acquisition, operation and production of oil and gas properties . Founded in 1998 and located in Houston TX, Americo operates hundreds of wells throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico.

Americo through its unique technical ability and inclusive business plan has exploited their assets and enhanced their production multi fold utilizing both vertical and horizontal wells since the company inception.

Mr. Nosrati is also President and CEO of Nosha Enterprises I Inc., a multimillion dollar real estate firm that develops and operates commercial, residential, and multifamily projects.

Mr. Nosrati migrated to the US in 1974. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a registered professional engineer in both states of Texas and Kentucky.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh are very active in the community and they serve on the board of several nonprofit organizations. Mr. Nosrati currently serves on the Dean advisory board of college of engineering for the University of Kentucky and is Vice chairman of the board. He also serves on the PAAIA boards and is currently the chairman of the IAPAC board.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh have been married for over 40 years and have three children and three grandchildren.

Fred Pezeshkan has been a resident of Southwest Florida for (40) years. Fred is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering and served Manhattan Construction Company (formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.) as Florida Chairman. Fred is a Chairperson Emeritus of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board of Directors. Through Kraft Construction Fred established a scholarship fund at FGCU to benefit the employees and their children, Kraft Construction was one of the first Collier County businesses to partner with FGCU both actively and through endowments.  

Mr. Pezeshkan is very active in the community and has served on or chaired many civic and charitable boards. He is past Chairman of the Collier County EDC. He currently serves on the boards of Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company and Lee Health Foundation. 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. For several years, Fred served as Co-Chair of the Annual Celebration of Reading, benefiting the Bush Family Literacy Initiative.  He is an active member of The Florida Council of 100. 

Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons: Kourosh (KP) 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.

Hamid Shojaee is the Founder of Axosoft and CEO of Pure Chat. Both companies are in the Software as a Service (SaaS) business, serving customers worldwide. Axosoft provides software development tools used by the world’s top software companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. Pure Chat provides live chat software that’s used by thousands of companies worldwide. Hamid has been a serial tech entrepreneur where he has created multiple software startups.

Hamid has also been an active member of Arizona’s entrepreneur community, helping mentor, and invested in, numerous Arizona tech startups. He has also been the recipients of Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs in Arizona.

Hamid and his wife, Lawdan, have two children (a boy and a girl) and are dedicated to helping make their community a better place.

IAPAC Board of Directors

The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) is the connected PAC of PAAIA.

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.

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. Currently, she is a Partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, where she practices in several areas of litigation such as high profile cases of fraud, cases involving the Federal and California False Claims Acts, and commercial disputes.

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 was born and raised in Tehran, Iran.  Amir came to the United States in 1979 to continue his education where he earned his Associates’s Degree from Valencia College in Engineering Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1983. He was recognized as “Young Engineer of the Year in 1991. 

Amir is the President / CEO of OCI Associates, Inc., a Florida-based Consulting Engineering Firm that offers Mechanical, Electrical, IT/AV, Plumbing and Fire Protection design engineering.   His firm serves the state of Florida through 6 office locations as well as Washington DC, Dallas, Norfolk and San Francisco. 

Amir has been married to his wife Zohreh for over 30 years.  Their daughter Lilly resides in San Francisco where she works as a Value Added Investment Manager. 

As a member of several Foundations throughout the state, Amir actively supports many local charities. 

Asghar Nosrati is co-founder and principal of Americo Energy Resources, LLC. an Oil and Gas Exploration and Production company specializing in the acquisition, operation and production of oil and gas properties . Founded in 1998 and located in Houston TX, Americo operates hundreds of wells throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico.

Americo through its unique technical ability and inclusive business plan has exploited their assets and enhanced their production multi fold utilizing both vertical and horizontal wells since the company inception.

Mr. Nosrati is also President and CEO of Nosha Enterprises I Inc., a multimillion dollar real estate firm that develops and operates commercial, residential, and multifamily projects.

Mr. Nosrati migrated to the US in 1974. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a registered professional engineer in both states of Texas and Kentucky.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh are very active in the community and they serve on the board of several nonprofit organizations. Mr. Nosrati currently serves on the Dean advisory board of college of engineering for the University of Kentucky and is Vice chairman of the board. He also serves on the PAAIA boards and is currently the chairman of the IAPAC board.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh have been married for over 40 years and have three children and three grandchildren.

Fred Pezeshkan has been a resident of Southwest Florida for (40) years. Fred is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering and served Manhattan Construction Company (formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.) as Florida Chairman. Fred is a Chairperson Emeritus of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board of Directors. Through Kraft Construction Fred established a scholarship fund at FGCU to benefit the employees and their children, Kraft Construction was one of the first Collier County businesses to partner with FGCU both actively and through endowments. 

Mr. Pezeshkan is very active in the community and has served on or chaired many civic and charitable boards. He is past Chairman of the Collier County EDC. He currently serves on the boards of Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company and Lee Health Foundation. 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. For several years, Fred served as Co-Chair of the Annual Celebration of Reading, benefiting the Bush Family Literacy Initiative.  He is an active member of The Florida Council of 100. 

Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons: Kourosh (KP) 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Varzi was born in New York City but has also lived in Africa and Malaysia due to her father being a United Nations representative. After graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in International Relations, Roxanne worked for Christian Dior Inc. in Public Relations in NYC. She moved to Atlanta in 1987 and worked in publishing and P.R. before getting her Master of Public Administration from Kennesaw University.

Roxanne is very active in fundraising for both political campaigns and nonprofit organizations. She is a member of CARE Women’s Network-Atlanta and has lobbied on their behalf in Washington D.C. She is also involved with the Global Village Project in Decatur Georgia. Roxanne is a member of SCAD Fashion museum as she still has a passion for fashion!

Roxanne and her husband Benny have two daughters, Leila and Sofia. Leila just got her Masters in Management from Cambridge University and is working as a management consultant and Sofia is a sophomore at the University of Georgia. Both girls attended Atlanta International School and are fluent in multiple languages.

Roxanne hopes to utilize her international and political experience to help IAPAC educate Iranian Americans about the American democratic process and advocate for their interests!

IA-100 Board

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.

Abbas Ardehali is a thoracic surgeon in Los Angeles, California, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area including Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica.  He received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and has been in practice fro more than 20 years.

Director of Heart and Lung transplant at UCLA for 15 years, Dr. Ardehali led one of the largest and most successful Heart and Lung transplants in the United States and the world. He expanded the UCLA Lung Transplant program ten folds in the past 15 years and led the UCLA Heart Transplant program to be the best ranked program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2012. He developed and patented a new technology that will improve the care of patients with end stage lung disease that is being licensed by UCLA to a Medical Device Company. This innovative device has been recognized by NIH and UC Center for Accelerated Innovations. He has educated Iranian-American community in heart health through seminars, lectures, and interviews and delivered lectures and participated in several invited seminars in Iran on advances in Heart surgery and Heart and Lung transplantation.

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.

Omid Farokhzad is the founder and Chief Executive Officer for Seer.  Previously, he was Professor at Harvard Medical School and directed the Center for Nanomedicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has authored over 160 papers and is an inventor of over 200 issued and pending patents. Farokhzad previously founded BIND Therapeutics(NASDAQ: BIND, acquired by Pfizer), Selecta Biosciences (NASDAQ: SELB), and Tarveda Therapeutics. He is a 2018 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.  He is a recipient of the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the 2014 Golden Door Award from the International Institute of New England, for his scientific, societal and economic contributions to America as an immigrant; the 2013 RUSNANOPRIZE, one of the largest international nanotechnology prizes for his work on nanomaterial surface modification; and the 2012 Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year award.  He received his M.D. and M.A. from Boston University and his M.B.A. from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Forough Hosseini is the Board Chair of PAAIA, Inc. and the Executive VP of Information Systems for ICI Homes, a company founded by her and her husband, Mori. ICI Homes, built on a bold vision, has achieved far-reaching recognition including its consistent ranking among the Top 100 Builders in the nation by Builder Magazine.

Forough earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. She serves as a board member and/or member of many local and national organizations and participates in and contributes to numerous local, national and international charities and causes.

Forough’s passion for homeless children and education is only second to her passion for her family, especially her three daughters – Nellie, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School, twins – Nina, a recent graduate with a Masters of Science in Real State from the University of Florida and Nika, a recent graduate of the University of Florida’s Law School.

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. 

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.

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).

Asghar Nosrati is co-founder and principal of Americo Energy Resources, LLC. an Oil and Gas Exploration and Production company specializing in the acquisition, operation and production of oil and gas properties . Founded in 1998 and located in Houston TX, Americo operates hundreds of wells throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico.

Americo through its unique technical ability and inclusive business plan has exploited their assets and enhanced their production multi fold utilizing both vertical and horizontal wells since the company inception.

Mr. Nosrati is also President and CEO of Nosha Enterprises I Inc., a multimillion dollar real estate firm that develops and operates commercial, residential, and multifamily projects.

Mr. Nosrati migrated to the US in 1974. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a registered professional engineer in both states of Texas and Kentucky.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh are very active in the community and they serve on the board of several nonprofit organizations. Mr. Nosrati currently serves on the Dean advisory board of college of engineering for the University of Kentucky and is Vice chairman of the board. He also serves on the PAAIA boards and is currently the chairman of the IAPAC board.

Mr. Nosrati and his wife Shoaleh have been married for over 40 years and have three children and three grandchildren.

Fred Pezeshkan has been a resident of Southwest Florida for (40) years. Fred is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering and served Manhattan Construction Company (formerly Kraft Construction Company, Inc.) as Florida Chairman. Fred is a Chairperson Emeritus of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board of Directors. Through Kraft Construction Fred established a scholarship fund at FGCU to benefit the employees and their children, Kraft Construction was one of the first Collier County businesses to partner with FGCU both actively and through endowments. 

Mr. Pezeshkan is very active in the community and has served on or chaired many civic and charitable boards. He is past Chairman of the Collier County EDC. He currently serves on the boards of Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company and Lee Health Foundation. 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. For several years, Fred served as Co-Chair of the Annual Celebration of Reading, benefiting the Bush Family Literacy Initiative.  He is an active member of The Florida Council of 100. 

Fred is married to Stephanie and has two sons: Kourosh (KP) and Alexander and two daughters, Karina and Sophia. 

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.

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 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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