Line-up for International Iranian Women’s Leadership Conference

Master of Ceremonies

  • Asieh Namdar

    Asieh Namdar is an Anchor for CCTV America in Washington, D.C. She comes to CCTV with more than 20 years of experience at CNN, where she served as an anchor for CNNI, a senior writer for HLN, and a contributor to has written and reported on many international stories, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tsunami disaster in Asia, the disputed 2009 election and protests in Iran, and typhoon Haiyan as it hit the Philippines in 2013. Namdar has conducted one-on-one interviews with Nobel Peace-Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Jordan’s Queen Rania, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and best-selling author Azar Nafisi.Recently, she spoke one-on-one with Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.


  • Dr. Ziba Ardalan

    Dr. Ziba Ardalan is the Founder, Director and Curator of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, an educational charity and a not-for-profit exhibition space in London. A graduate in the History of Arts from Columbia University, New York, Ardalan worked as Guest-Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and went on to […]

  • Azita Raji

    Ambassador Raji was nominated for the State Department’s highest award for a non-career ambassador, the Sue M. Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. She was the first female United States ambassador to Sweden, as well as the first Iranian-American to serve as a United States ambassador.

    Raji is a Chartered Financial Analyst (C.F.A.) and has been a member of the Institute for Chartered Financial Analysts since 1991. She is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, an elite organization which supports international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    Raji is an honoree of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards honoring distinguished Americans.

  • Afsoon

    An Iranian born, London based artist. Occident and Orient coexist in her works, which are multi layered and often combine text and sound with images, using various media such as Linocuts, watercolour, photography, collage, and etching. Afsoon’s works have been extensively exhibited and can be found worldwide in prominent collections and museums.

  • Anousheh Ansari

    On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. Ms. Ansari earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent. An entrepreneur, Anousheh Ms. Ansari is the co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea System, a company […]

  • Ashley Dartnell

    A long-time London resident, was born and raised in Iran and has written a book, Farangi Girl, about her experiences growing up as a westerner in Iran during the time of the Shah. Farangi Girl was published by Two Roads Books, an imprint of Hodder (a division of Hachette). Ashley is currently at work on her second book, a work of fiction set mostly in Iran post World War II.

  • Avid Larizadeh Duggan

    Avid is a general partner at GV. Prior to GV, Avid co-founded Boticca, a global marketplace for independent brands of fashion accessories (acquired by Wolf & Badger in 2015). Avid has been involved in the startup ecosystem as a developer, product manager, founder, investor, and adviser since 1998. Avid started investing at Accel Partners in […]

  • Bita Ghezelayagh

    Italian-born artist who lives and works in Tehran and London and has participated in group shows at the Sharjah Art Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Casa Árabe in Madrid, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts and San Antonio Museum of Art. She was on the short list for the Jameel Prize for contemporary art.

  • Dina Nasser Khadivi

    An independent curator and consultant, specialising in International Contemporary art. Dina’s initial focus over the past decade is Middle East and Iran and selected areas of the Caucasus. Originally a 19/20th century Orientalist art specialist at Christie’s, Dina began to work with Middle Eastern and Iranian Contemporary art.

  • Farah Nayeri

    The New York Times writer on culture, and previously was the arts correspondent of Bloomberg and has written for the arts pages of The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Ms. Nayeri began her journalism career as a reporter for Time in Paris. She later became a Paris correspondent of Bloomberg, the Rome bureau chief, and the European economics correspondent.

  • Faryaneh Akhavan

    After 7 years of having built her own business in furniture import/export, Faryaneh Akhavan’s career path went through a huge overhaul when her son was diagnosed with autism. She founded The Snowflake School which has now been up and running for 9 years, with 17 children, 26 staff and an ever growing waiting list. Faryaneh has a BA in Business with a focus in Finance.

  • Fati Naraghi

    Global Technology Analyst at Newton Investment Management, where she is responsible for over £4 billion of investments in the global technology sector. Fati has spent her entire career in the technology sector. Prior to Newton, she was a founding partner of ACN&Co, a successful strategic advisory company. ACN’s clients included leading global telecom companies.

  • Fay Arjomandi

    Currently the chairman of H2 Wellness, advisor of StudyTracks, and mimik. Prior to this, Fay was the CEO of NantMobile managing three mobile companies in 60Ghz fabless semiconductor, AR/VR platform and consumerization of healthcare platform. Prior to joining Nantmobile, she was CEO & co-founder of Vodafone xone which she successfully launched in Silicon Valley.

  • Dr. Foojan Zeine

    International Speaker, Psychotherapist, Life Coach, and the Author of Life Reset – The Awareness Path to Create the life You Want. She has her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has a large private practice in Brentwood, Irvine & Woodland Hills, California. Her expertise is in Intimate Relations and Addictive Behaviors.

  • Homayra Sellier

    Founder and CEO of Innocence in Danger; a worldwide movement to protect minors against all forms of abuse and exploitation. Nominated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1999 to carry out the the global campaign on Sexual Abuse of Children, Child Pornography and Pedophilia on the Internet: An International Challenge.

  • Layla Yarjani

    Co-Chair & Founder, Director of Operations at Little Bridge, Layla Yarjani an immersive games-based children’s learning and media company. Prior to Little Bridge she spent five and a half years in consulting during which she founded NEXTGen London, the first chapter of professionals supporting Unicef in Europe. NEXTGen is now being scaled across Europe with Unicef.

  • Lily Mottahedan

    Barrister at 1 Hare Court in London, UK’s leading family law chambers specialising in matrimonial finance. Lily Mottahedan has appeared in courts all over the country at all levels up to the Court of Appeal and has particular expertise in cases with an international element. In 2016, she was named as one of Management Today’s “35 women under 35″.

  • Mariam Khosravani

    Mariam Khosravani is the founder and president of the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF). In 2010, she sought to assemble the expertise and accomplishments of Iranian American women around the nation and utilize them to inspire women to reach their full potential. A platform for open dialogue, the foundation creates lasting connections among leading women […]


  • Dori Dana-Haeri

    Seed investor in start-up companies, founded and is the Managing Director of DDH Consultants, a strategy and marketing consultancy for growth through innovation. A former Director and Founder of Acrostic, an investment banking firm specialising in alternative asset classes. She is also a former General Partner.

  • Homa Sarshar

    Published author, award-winning journalist, writer, and media personality. Homa Sarshar is the author of four books and the editor of eleven other volumes, including five volumes of the ‘Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation Journal’ and four volumes of ‘The History of Contemporary Iranian Jews’.

  • Ina Sandman

    Founder and curator of the Sarikhani Collection of Iranian Art and interested in explaining and promoting Iranian art of all periods from ancient through to contemporary. Currently preparing a special exhibition of art from the Sarikhani Collection that will be shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Jeyran Ghara

    Financial advisor with Bernstein Private Wealth Management, advising high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments and small to mid-size businesses regarding their investment strategies. Engaged in expanding the efforts of the Iranian American Women Foundation to the East Coast.

  • Leyla Fakhr

    Works as an independent curator and producer. Leyla Fakhr is the founder of Art Square Projects, an agency that develops contemporary art projects with special focus on Public Art. She recently produced ‘Monir’, a documentary on life and work on the artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.

  • Nazenin Ansari

    Managing Editor of Kayhan-London, A Trustee of the Foreign Press Association in London, serves on the Board of Directors of Encyclopedia Iranica at Columbia University. Elected to the governing Committee of the Foreign Press Association in London, she served as President.

  • Dr. Nina Ansary

    Bestselling author, historian and leading authority on women’s rights in Iran. Dr. Ansary’s literary debut, ‘Jewels of Allah’, garnered multiple awards, including the 2016 International Book Award in “Women’s Issues”. Her book is the first to shatter stereotypical assumptions about Iranian women.

  • Dr. Sherry Nooravi

    An organizational psychologist and principal consultant of Strategy Meets Performance, Inc., a Southern California-based leadership consulting firm. Dr. Sherry Nooravi specializes in partnering with leaders of fast growth organizations to help them create engaging, innovative and productive cultures.

  • Shahrzad Ardalan

    Producer and host of a popular radio show called, “Life is Beautiful” on 670AM-KIRN Radio Iran. Shahrzad dealt with a variety of Iranian-American issues, with a positive approach, covering a variety of topics, such as family matters, parenthood, health, and other day-to-day aspects of life.

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