headerImg

Mahnaz Afkhami Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies and the former Minister of Women's Affairs in Iran's Pre-Revolution government

Mahnaz Afkhami, Founder Women's Learning Partnership | PDA Speakers

Mahnaz Afkhami is Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies, and former Minister of State for Women's Affairs in Iran. Born in Kerman, Iran, she founded the University Women’s Association of Iran and served as Secretary General of the Wome...    

See Below for Full Bio
Categories :
  • Full Bio
  • Videos
  • Topics
  • Books
  • News
  • Testimonials

Mahnaz Afkhami is Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies, and former Minister of State for Women's Affairs in Iran. Born in Kerman, Iran, she founded the University Women’s Association of Iran and served as Secretary General of the Women's Organization of Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In exile in the United States, Ms. Afkhami has been a leading advocate of women's rights for more than three decades, having founded and headed several international non-governmental organizations focused on advancing the status of women.  Among the organizations that she co-founded include Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (with Mary Robinson, Lisa Anderson, and Thoraya Obaid); Gender At Work (with Kumi Naidoo, Aruna Rao and Joanna Kerr) and, Women Leaders Action Network for Children (with Marian Wright Edelman, Melanne Verveer and Madeleine Albright). Formerly, she was President of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute.

She currently serves on the boards and steering committees of a number of international organizations including Board of Trustees, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, 2012-present; Advisory Committee on Women, Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, 1991–present; and Chair, Global Council, International Museum of Women, 2000–present.

Partial list of past board and committee appointments include Steering Committee, World Movement for Democracy, 1999–2010; Board of Directors, International League for Human Rights, 2000–2006; Executive Committee, Women’s Human Rights Net, 2000–2004; Women’s Steering Committee, Commission on Globalization, State of the World Forum, 1999–2002; Steering Committee, Women Waging Peace Initiative, Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1999–2000; Steering Committee, Women In Legislation League (WILL) project, Parliamentarians for Global Action, 1999–2000; Advisory Board, The Global Fund for Women, 1998–2007; International Advisory Group, Association of Women’s Rights in Development, 1998–2000; Advisory Committee on Women; and she served as Founder-Director, the Oral History of Iran Archives, 1982–2000.

Furthermore, she served as a member of Iran's High Council of Family Planning and Welfare from 1975-1979, the board of trustees of Kerman University from 1976-1979, and the board of trustees of Farah University for Women from 1977–1979, and served as Chair, Board of Trustees, Women's Organization of Iran School of Social Work from 1973–1979.

Ms. Afkhami created the concept and mobilized support for the establishment of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Women and Development (APCWD) and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).  Additionally, she has led numerous task forces on democratization, leadership, and women's human rights in the Global South including multinational delegations to the UN Human Rights Conference in Vienna (1993) and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995).

Ms. Afkhami has lectured and published extensively on the international women’s movement, women's human rights, women in leadership, women and technology, and women's participation in civil society building and democratization.  She has authored numerous publications, among them Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation (1997), Faith and Freedom: Women's Human Rights in the Muslim World (1995), In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Postrevolutionary Iran (1994), Women in Exile (1994), and Women and the Law in Iran (1993). Among the training manuals she has co-authored are Claiming Our Rights: A Manual for Women's Human Rights Education in Muslim Societies (1996), Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women (2001), and Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women (2010), and Victories Over Violence: Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls A Practitioner’s Manual (2012).

She has appeared on the BBC, CNN, and PBS and in numerous television and radio interviews on NPR, BBC Persian, VOA Persian and other international outlets.


  • Mahnaz Afkhami

A Conversation With Mahnaz Afkhami

  • Please Contact Us For More Information
  • Please Contact Us For More Information
'Muslim'
FIND a PRESENTER
More Videos
Testimonials
  • Everything went very well. Mr. Johnson did a great job of interacting with the students and Q&A. Thank you again Peter for your recommendation!

    -Claflin University
  • "Our organization has been dealing with PDA Speakers Bureau for many years. We have found both the content and quality of speaker exceptional, making our meetings much more successful. Peter from ......

    -Program Chair
    University of Alabama
  • "The service provided by PDA Speakers was most helpful. We were able to give an outline of what we wanted and had some great suggestions given for the most suitable speakers. We would be happy to b......

    -Program Chair
    University of Chicago
  • Thank you Peter for helping us bring in the cast from MTV'S Real World to Furman University. They were great!

    -Mary Catherine Wilder Program Chair
    Furman University
  • Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on ......

    -Grand Valley State University
  • My interaction with Peter was great as always. This is the second year we have used PDA Speakers. We have never been disappointed with the authors that have visited us.

    -Program Chair
    University Of Michigan
  • Everything went fantastic. I hope that Viola Davis and her family felt welcomed and enjoyed their time in Portland and participating in our event. The impact of her keynote was humbling and inspiri......

    -Concordia University
  • On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we th......

    -Ferris State University
  • We are fortunate to have a long standing relationship with PDA Group and find them very easy to work with. I know that almost as soon as I email Peter about a guest speaker, I receive a reply and a......

    -Christine Kennedy
    Program Chair University of Texas
  • "Thank you Peter for arranging Jay Sean to sing at my son's Bar Mitzvah".

    -Private Client
    Bar Mitzvah featuring Jay Sean
  • PDA Group is the best. Thank you for helping us bring in MTV Jersey Shore Cast. Huge success!!

    -Ashley Weber
    Augustana College
  • Just a quick note to let you know Ms. Webb-Christburg did an outstanding job.  Comments ranged from mesmerizing to inspirational.  The students, faculty, staff and community all enjoye......

    -The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Douglas Tompkins was Outstanding!! Thank you, Peter for all your hard work.

    -Natural Products Expo East
  • It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).

    -Western Michigan University
  • Thank you Peter Walker for your assistance on bringing Hill Harper to our School. Such a success!

    -Taylor Reeves
    President African American Student Alliance
  • "The Langston Hughes Project attracted the most diverse audience I have ever seen on our campus.  Young and old, black and white, students and teachers, university administrators and community......

    -Dr. Peter Madsen
    University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • "Thank you PDA Group for your assistance on bringing Russell Simmons Def Poetry to our campus!"

    -Simone Dozier
    University of South Carolina
  • PDA Group assisted us in securing the services of Mr. Montel Williams as a Keynote Speaker for one of our signature events in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.  Peter was very helpful and professiona......

    -Linda D.Bradley, MD - Cleveland Clinic
  • The feedback on Ilyasah Shabazz was great! She was very receptive and spent a lot of time answering questions and making a personal connection with the students. Thank you Peter for all your har......

    -Claflin University
  • Rosalyn McMillan was great! Everyone really enjoyed her. Thank you, Peter Walker for your help on bring her to our campus!

    -Claflin University
  • "We were looking for a smaller-scale, lower budgeted for our comedy series and Peter Walker gave us some great suggestions of comedians!"

    -Audrey Cawley
    Fordham University
  • Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and de......

    -Western Carolina University
  • Our thanks again to PDA Group for your help in setting up this year's program. You really helped me out in terms of saving time and I appreciated your ability to suggest speakers who were in keepin......

    -Melissia Schmidt, Program Chair
    University of Rochester
  • Thank you Peter for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one......

    -Furman University
  • Everything went wonderfully. Sherry Brantley was fantastic! and she was the right choice for us at this time. Thanks again for all your help.

    -Nazareth College
  • The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg speech was."

    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast, Boston
    MLK Speaker
  • Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!

    -Central Michigan University
  • Being our first experience with your agency and having a great experience with the performer and you, I wanted to inquire what other forms of entertainment you offer around the same price; as this ......

    -Northern State University
  • Coach Ken Carter was fantastic! You were both inspirational and motivational. Thank you for a wonderful performance. People li......

    -Ball State University
  • Mr. Alex Rosner's moving presentation to our students at Bucknell University made such an important difference in their understanding of the human dimension of the Holocaust. Mr. Rosner's shared......

    -Bucknell University
  • "I wanted to thank you for your services for our event. Peter and your team have been fantastic throughout this entire process. You made our event run so smooth with the assembly of Gavin's crew an......

    -Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
    Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
  • Allegra Goodman's lecture last night was wonderful! She’s a wonderful speaker and a very lovely person. We cant tha......

    -Indiana University, South Bend
  • Ms. Webb-Christburg, it was an honor to host you on our campus. Your speech was well received by everyone in attendance, and pr......

    -University of Vermont
    MLK Speaker
More testimonials
CHECK AVAILABILITY
Check Availability For Mahnaz Afkhami
Get Ideas in 1 Hour or Less
Latest News
  • Lecrae Drops ‘All Things Work Together’ Album Cover, Tracklist
    31.08.2017

    At long last Lecrae pulls up with the cover and official tracklist for his forthcoming album, All Things Work Together. Let’s just say it looks like it will be a good listen.

  • Former US surgeon general discusses issues affecting Hispanics
    31.01.2018

    Grand Valley State University welcomed Dr. Antonia Novello Wednesday, Sept. 27, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Novello was the first woman, and the first Hispanic, to be appointed the 14th surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1990.

    Dr. Cynthia McCurren, dean of the Kirkhof College of Nursing at GVSU, introduced Novello through a personal memory of Novello’s appointment in 1990 and the important role that she not only played in her own life, but in the public health sphere as well.

    “As an individual that’s been in nursing for over 30 years, and therefore more broadly in health care, I’m very much impressed and influenced by those who provide leadership and who take on the responsibility of the leadership as much as at the national person,” McCurren said. “This is a person that I remember her appointment when I was going through my times working in health care, and my continuing to work in health care, she has made an impression on me.”

  • How Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris Found Success, in Both Banking and Music
    30.08.2017

    Carla Harris isn't your average banker.

    In addition to being the vice chairman of wealth management at Morgan Stanley (ms, +0.82%), Harris chairs the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), an advisory panel to Congress and President Barack Obama on economic issues important to female business owners. And she sings. Really, really well. So well, in fact, that she's had four of her Carnegie Hall concerts sell out entirely.

Read More
Blog feed
  • Jewish, heritage
    17.10.2017
    May is Jewish American Heritage Month! Celebrate Jewish Americans who have helped weave the fabric of American history, culture and society with some of our well-known Jewish speakers and entertainers
  • Motivational Speaker - PDA Speakers
    02.04.2017
    Do you have a business conference to plan, an annual company meeting, or your monthly board meeting? Hiring a good motivational speaker is one of the best things you can do to make your event a succes
  • Keynote Speakers | PDA Speakers
    10.10.2017
    So much for the status quo… Research confirms what most already suspect: Continuous change is the new norm in business. Happily, in today’s highly-disruptive world, innovation is just another word
Read More

Copyrights © 2019. PDA Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.