February 2019 Newsletter Issue II

The Iranian American Women Foundation will celebrate the International Women's Month with the screening of the feature documentary THE GIRLS
in three different chapter cities across California.

Join us for screening an inspirational documentary film by Fery Malek Madani and her team who traveled to provincial cities across Iran to channel the imagination of young girls, and ask them to focus on their dreams and aspirations. There will be a Q&A session with the Filmmaker. Please join and share in the conversation around the status of women, their rights and future desires. 

We believe it is quite an achievement to create room to freely discuss about subject matters rarely - if ever - addressed.


Save the Date: April 13, 2019

The IAWF invites you to join the Iranian American Women of Influence  Soir é on April 13, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, CA. The soiree will be celebration of the achievements of the women of Iranian heritage who inspire, influence and empower the community and the society. This event will be an opportunity to honor the contributions of these visionary women who are making a difference in philanthropy, community services, arts and science.

Purchase your Tickets here.


(Getty Image)


IAWF would like to congratulate, Rayka Zehtabchi as the first Iranian-American woman to win an Oscar award for "Period, End of a Sentence" as best short documentary in 2019! The documentary depicts life of a group of village women in Northern India who start a sanitary pad business in an effort to improve feminine hygiene and destigmatizing menstruation for all. Rayka is an LA-based film director and has directed Madaran, a Farsi language short film. "Her passion is telling human stories that bring awareness and action to little-known social causes. She brings a naturalistic approach to her storytelling, striving for honesty and intimacy on screen" (filmfreeway)              


It's 40 days and counting until history will be made at the Forty Years & More International Conference on Iranian Diaspora Studies, at San Francisco State University, March 29th-30th. Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Iranian revolution, this first of its kind, three day gathering of scholars, researchers and artists will illuminate the vast cultural and academic impact of Iranian diaspora communities worldwide.

Purchase your Tickets  here.

Laya Khadjavi
New York

Laya Khadjavi is a seasoned finance executive, currently working as an independent adviser to emerging asset management firms and non-profit organizations. She is a non-executive board member of GoldenTree ABS Management. From 2012 to 2016, Laya was COO, Head of Strategy and Business Development at ICE Canyon, a global investment management firm specializing in Emerging Markets. Prior to ICE Canyon, Laya was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley where she held a succession of senior management positions, including: Global Head of Markets Group in Global Wealth Management, Global Head of Collateralized Debt Obligations, and Co-Head of North America Finance Group. 

You can read more  here .
Sara Alvarez
Southern California
Sara Alvarez is a Realtor with Douglas Elliman, a full service luxury real estate brokerage located in Beverly Hills. Before becoming a Realtor, Sara was a Senior Consultant with Deltawrx, a management consulting firm focusing on technology change for public sector clients, where she led projects, procurements, contract negotiations, grant management and stakeholder engagement for her clients. Prior to Deltawrx, she was principal and founder of Neeku Group, a management consulting company that provided strategy, management and support services and also co-founded and served as CEO of FemBotz, Inc., a technology start-up developing a mobile platform combining social gaming, online flash sales and local group discounts into one interactive experience.

You can read more  here .

 Sahar Azarabadi
 Northern California
Sahar is a Certified Integral Coach whose professional expertise includes nearly two decades as a senior and executive leader specializing in Sales and Business Development. She knows how to achieve results in fast-paced, high pressure environments. Sahar obtained her certification as an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, certified as a Leadership Embodiment Associate, and is Founder and Principal of Anthos Solutions. She is devoted to helping leaders, teams, and organizations work together more effectively and skillfully. Sahar has worked with professionals at all levels in healthcare, technology, biotechnology, and insurance and financial services become skillful listeners, powerful advocators, and inspirational leaders. 

You can read more  here .

Circle of 1000s Featured Member
Mojgan Momenan has more than 25 years of experience in architecture and engineering design and is an Associate at Danielian Associates, an award winning Architecture and Planning design firm in Orange county, CA established almost 50 years ago. As Sr. project manager, Mojgan is the key point of contact with the client and design team, responsible for directing and coordinating all aspects of the construction documents. Mojgan is currently focusing her efforts on Danielian's growing multifamily, mixed-use residential and affordable housing projects. Most recently she led the team on "Clark Commons workforce housing" project in Buena Park CA, winner of the "Affordable Housing Award" for 2016 Development of the year. She also managed the mixed use "Residences at Westgate" in Pasadena which received the 2016 SOCAL Awards for best Architectural designed Multi Family.

You can read more here.

Circle of Men
Pasha Behzadi

Pasha Behzadi is a Senior Vice President and Regional Private Banking Manager at Wells Fargo Private Bank's Beverly Hills market. Mr. Behzadi leads private bankers who work as part of a team to help meet high-net-worth clients' comprehensive wealth management needs. Private Banking team members specialize in developing and implementing tailored credit, deposit, and cash management strategies for clients. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2008, Mr. Behzadi worked at City National Bank for five years, where he reported to the Chief Credit Officer and was responsible for lending approvals and portfolio activities for the Private Banking Division and a number of Commercial banking offices throughout the bank's footprint. He has been in the banking industry for over 30 years. Mr. Behzadi earned his BS in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. He is an active supporter of Viewpoint School, a K12 Independent School in Calabasas and Operational Smile. He and his family are currently residing in Tarzana, California.

Book of the Month
Credit:Neda Maghbouleh website

"The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian-Americans & the Everyday Politics of Race" by Neda Maghbouleh  2017

The Limits of Whiteness is a deep study of understanding the challenges of Iranian Americans and other Middle Eastern immigrants for defining their race and the treatment they face in the society. Her findings are focused on the ways Iranian Americans are shifting between the colors and definition of race. The Limits of Whiteness has received honorable mention in the 2018 PROSE Award in the category of Cultural Anthropology & Sociology." Maghbouleh tells for the first time the compelling, often heartbreaking story of how a white American immigrant group can become brown and what such a transformation says about race in America" Standford University Press

Neda Maghbouleh is an Iranian American writer and Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto with appointment to the graduate department at St. George. Dr. Maghbouleh is the winner of the Province of Ontario's Early Researcher Award. She is the lead researcher and Principal Investigator on the RISE (Refugee Integration, Stress and Equity) Team. She has a Ph.D. from University of California Santa Barbara. Dr. Maghbouleh has extensive research on immigration, race, racism, youth, ethnicity and gender. Click  here to read more about her.

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