The Iranian American Women Foundation Hosted 16th IAWF Women's Leadership Conference With a Sold Out Crowd in Los Angeles

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Leaders in Business, Politics, Entertainment, Philanthropy and Academia Celebrate the Impactful Roles of Iranian American Women in the United States

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Personal power is a function of your integrity, and the biggest impact you will make in the world is through your passion and purpose. Do not seek other people’s approval, and always trust your instinct.

On Sunday, April 29, 2018, the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF)—the only non-profit organization providing networking and mentorship services to women of Iranian descent across all professional industries—hosted the sold-out 16th IAWF Women’s Leadership Conference at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. The day-long event featured the keynote by Azita Raji, the first female U.S. ambassador to Sweden, and the first Iranian-born American to serve as a U.S. ambassador, as well as the keynote by Mahnaz Afkhami, president of Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) and former minister for women’s affairs in Iran. Nearly 700 attendees were given access to over 60 leading women in business, politics, entertainment and academia, including Goli Ameri, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Azita Raji encouraged attendees to keep their integrity in everything they do, saying, “Personal power is a function of your integrity, and the biggest impact you will make in the world is through your passion and purpose. Do not seek other people’s approval, and always trust your instinct.”

Mahnaz Afkhami reminded the participants about their advantage in having exposure to the diversity and the profundity of the two cultures of the United States and Iran, and invited women leaders to be engaged in women-related causes, not just locally, but also on a national level.

IAWF founder Mariam Khosravani said, “We are here to light the torch of inspiration and to share our voices without limitation. We foster unity in our community, particularly during this time of pressing global change. Together, we create a space for the future generations to thrive and soar to new heights.”

IAWF’s 16th Conference highlights included a Certificate of Recognition and a video message from Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, as well as a congratulatory letter form Governor Jerry Brown, panel discussions, book signings and workshops.

The organization presented two Shirzan Awards for life-long leadership and community involvement to Mahnaz Afkhami and Homa Sarshar, award-winning journalist and author.

Amongst the 60 prominent speakers at the conference were: Aggie Afarinesh, senior manager of human resources at Metrolink; Fay Arjomandi, the Executive Chairwoman of H2 Wellness and Founder and Chief Product Officer at mimik; Melissa Etehad, Los Angeles Times journalist; Ferial Govashiri, the Chief of Staff to the Chief of Content at Netflix and former personal aide to President Barack Obama in the White House; Hon. Judge Sam Hamadani, district court judge in North Carolina; Niaz Kasravi, founder and director of the Avalan Institude; Neda Nobari, founder of the Neda Nobari Foundation and former director and vice chair of bebe stores, Inc.; Maryam Rofougaran, co-founder of Movandi Corporation and the former senior vice president of radio engineering at Broadcome Corporation; Hon. Judge Shahla S. Sabet, superior court judge in the state of California; Hon. Judge Saba Sheibani, appointed judge in the San Diego County Superior Court; The Honorable Ashley Tabaddor, president, the National Association of Immigration Judges; Kiana Taheri, leader of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Smart City and Behavioral Science initiatives; Necar Zadegan, actress featured on HBO and Fox; Maryam Zar, commissioner on the Los Angeles Commission on the status of women; and Foojan Zeine, speaker, author, and psychotherapist; amongst many others.

The IAWF Women’s Leadership Conferences are a platform for exclusive access to leading professional women who share stories of triumph and adversity, with the goal of empowering and inspiring participants.

The non-profit organization has held sold-out nationwide conferences in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Irvine, as well as international conferences in London, UK and Toronto, Canada. These events showcase the achievements and contributions of women from Iranian descent across all industries and provide mentorship opportunities for the next generation of leaders. Each conference hosts up to 800 participants from all over the world.

The event’s major sponsors included USBank, Union Bank, Honar Foundation, Arbela Technologies, Farhang Foundation, Wells Fargo, Pars Equality Center, L3 Technologies, Southern California Edison, ZS Profit Solutions, Pepperdine University, Citi Bank, Ruehle Foundation, Odesus, Iranian Hotline, KIRN Radio and PAWC.

To learn about membership/sponsorship or how to get involved with the Iranian American Women Foundation, please email contact(at)iawfoundation(dot)org or visit the IAWF Website.

About the Iranian American Women Foundation

Founded in Orange County in 2012 by Mariam Khosravani, the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) is the only non-profit organization providing networking and mentorship services to women of Iranian descent across all professional industries in the United States and internationally. IAWF provides a platform to empower, inspire and connect Iranian women of all ages through its various conferences, events and programs, including: IAWF Mentorship to Internship, IAWF Connect, IAWF Scholarship and IAW Life Academy. IAWF currently has over 4,000 members nationwide and an esteemed board of over thirty advisors, trustees and directors who are some of the nation’s most prominent leaders and entrepreneurs.

About IAWF Trustees

These luminous leaders set long-term strategies for the Iranian American Women Foundation and act as the ambassadors for the organization: Fariba Ameri, Contemporary visual artist and philanthropist; Dr. Nina Ansary, award-winning author and UN Women appointed Global Champion for Innovation; Bita Daryabari, award-winning humanitarian and executive director of Pars Equality Center; Zohre Elahian, award-winning philanthropist and co-founder of Schools Online, managing director of Global Catalyst Foundation; Parisima Hassani, CEO of the award-winning international architectural firm Westgroup Designs; Shirin Hedayat, former financial advisor and master in intuitive medicine; Shahpar Khaledi, co-founder of Darioush Winery in Napa Valley and former director of Echelon; Nellie Keyhani, vice president of Advisory Services with Whittier Trust; Neda Nobari, former director and vice chair of bebe stores, Inc. and founder and president of the Neda Nobari Foundation; Violet Parvarandeh, philanthropist and former computer designer; Julie Ruehle, founder of Ruehle CFO Advisory and Ruehle Realty.

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Donna Ghalambor
IAW Foundation
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