Mahnaz Afkhami Receives Shirzan Award for Lifetime Achievement at 2018 IAWF Conference

Sun, Apr 29, 2018


Mahnaz Afkhami speaking at 2018 IAWF Conference

Mahnaz Afkhami at 2018 IAWF Conference

(L to r: Mariam Khoshravani, Azita Raji, Afkhami and Goli Ameri)

Afkhami was honored with the Shirzan Award for life-long leadership and community involvement  at the 16th Annual Iranian American Women Foundation Conference on April 29, 2018 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles for her over four decades of visionary, global work in the civil society sector to advance women’s human rights and agency.




In her acceptance speech, she spoke of one of the most significant collaborations in the women’s human rights movement–the WLP partnership.  She encouraged the women entrepreneurs, leaders, and allies gathered to be involved with women-related causes, locally and at the national level, and to not forget that our human rights are now globalized and they require our vigilance and upkeep. She underscored the key to creating solutions and working for social good: embrace the diversity of one’s heritage but endeavor to take the risks required to make alliances with those whom appear to be so different from oneself.

Other speakers at the conference included advocates for women’s leadership including representatives of  academia, business, entertainment, and politics: Azita Raji, the first female U.S. ambassador to Sweden; 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.

IAWF is a non-profit organization providing networking and mentorship services to women of Iranian descent across all professional industries in the United States and internationally.

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Kudos to @RepRoKhanna & @RepMattGaetz on their bipartisanship efforts in passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment in the #House. We're a step closer to preventing another unnecessary/costly war in the #ME. Congrats to @PAAIA & other allied #Iranian-#American orgs for their #advocacy.

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