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 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…
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.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's 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
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
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, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Mahnaz Afkhami
1 HOUR OR LESS