Mariam Khosravani is the Founder & President of the Iranian American Women Foundation, which has offered many leadership conferences, with over 2,500 participants since its inception in 2012. Mariam is also the Executive Director of the Coastline Community College Foundation in Orange County, California. She manages the college foundation, its assets, and is responsible for raising funds to assist and support over 18,000 students.
Mariam has been active in the field of philanthropy as a consultant, speaker, and trainer for the last fifteen years. She is passionate about humanitarian aid and has assisted in the expansion of several non-profit organizations in Southern California. She has raised millions of dollar in funds for various local, national and international organizations. Mariam has served as the Chair of the Investment Council for the United Way of Orange County for two years, and another two years as a Board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She served as the Community Services Commissioner for the City of Irvine for eight years, and was on the Board of Directors for the California Community College Foundations as well. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans (PAAIA) and is a member of the Advisory Board of PBS SoCal, Orange County’s PBS station. In 2015, Mariam was awarded with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Founder and president of Neda Nobari Foundation (NNF), Neda Nobari has been actively supporting innovative projects in support of social and environmental justice through the Arts, Environmental Advocacy, Transparent Media, Impact Films and Education for almost a decade.
A true believer in the power of empathy and equal opportunity, her foundation has funded and actively participated in projects that raise awareness, offer a counter-narrative to the status quo and provide solutions for positive transformational and systematic change to address contemporary societal issues. Neda holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from San Francisco State University where she serves on the University Foundation’s Board. She was the Co Founder and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at bebe stores, Inc. from 1984-2006. After transitioning away from the corporate sector, Neda founded her private foundation and went on to attend Dartmouth College to receive her M.A. in Liberal Studies, focusing on the intersection of the diaspora and the cultural identity of Iranian American women.
Ziba Shirazi is an Iranian‐American poet, singer, songwriter and storyteller. As a poet and music artist, she is best known for her poignant songs and storytelling through poetry. Ziba’s compositions blend together flavors of Persian melodies with world music and jazz. In 1985, Ziba left Iran for the United States, where despite many difficulties, she single‐handedly produced and promoted seven albums. Referred to as the ‘Voice of Women’ in the Iranian community, Ziba’s lyrics are colored by passionate feminist tones, love, compassion and universal human stories.
In 2009, Ziba created “Story & Song,” a lyrical storytelling performance, set to live music with video projections featuring stories of Iranian immigrants and their struggles since the Islamic Revolution. This project, which was the subject of Ziba’s Master’s thesis in Performance and Communication at California State University in Los Angeles, has been performed across the US and Canada. Another one of Ziba’s lifetime dreams was achieved in spring of 2014, when she staged her first musical production, “Spring Love,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. Through her new ongoing projects, “Story & Song,” featuring stories of Iranian immigrants, and “Spring Love,” a musical love story, Ziba continues to touch audiences’ hearts, crossing cultural gaps with her unique art of storytelling.
Dr. Niaz Kasravi is a national expert and advocate in criminal justice, social justice, and racial justice. She is Founder and Director of Avalan Institute for Applied Research – a research, advocacy & training institute.
She is the former Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S. At the NAACP Dr. Kasravi led several successful initiatives, including campaigns to: abolish the death penalty in Maryland; enact stronger anti-racial profiling legislation in New York City; and free a man wrongfully sentenced to life in Georgia.
Her career includes serving as Deputy Director of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Lead Researcher & Associate for the Domestic Human Rights Program of Amnesty International USA, Director of Community Relations for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans, and Policy Associate for Stop Prison Rape. She is the author of a report on racial profiling for the NAACP (2014), and the co-author of another report on the same issue for Amnesty International (2004), among other publications.
Dr. Kasravi holds a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. A National Science Foundation grant provided her an opportunity to travel to Iran and work with Shirin Ebadi – the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient – on human rights and the role of Iranian women in the reform movement.
Saied Kazemi is an Information Technology (IT) professional specializing in open source software and systems. His career spans a wide spectrum of entrepreneurial and engineering experience. Throughout the years, he has been responsible for product development and product management at high-tech companies. He has also been a co-founder at three startups. He holds a Masters of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University. As an advisor, Saied has been helping KCIS with strategic and organizational needs and execution plans.
Ms. Etedali graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Tehran and worked as a journalist for multi-art editorial magazines in Iran before she began her career as a writer and documentary filmmaker. Shahla directed and produced numerous documentaries for television in Iran and she played a central role as line producer, writer and director in the production of “Ali Kocholou,” one of the most successful television series for children in 1980s in Iran.
Shahla has embarked on several humanitarian missions to Afghanistan for the International Red Cross. She has volunteered for many organizations and charitable events since 1988, among them the Art Association of Windhoek during her residency in Namibia, Africa and the Iranian Children’s Rights Society in Los Angeles. Shahla’s involvement in establishing KCIS as a non-profit organization in 2010 was instrumental. She has been with KCIS since its inception of the organization.
Marjan Mohtashami is the Senior Vice President at one of the largest international banks. She has managed many technology projects from inception to succession and foresee financial health of one billion dollar budget. She also teaches Mindfulness practices at corporate life, educating leaders the importance of practicing compassion and diversity at work place. She has been an activist in the field of women’s right for the past 25+ years. She is a published author. Marjan graduated from the University of California, San Diego in the field of Sociology.