maryam zar

presidenT

Maryam Zar is an Iranian-American who has lived in the States since 1979. She has a BS in Mass Communication from Boston University and a JD from Pepperdine.

In 1992 she returned to Iran for 4 years and wrote for MEED and Gulf Marketing Review. She was named one of the most influential women in marketing in the Middle East in 1992. 

In 2010 founded “Womenfound”, an organization dedicated to empowering women. She is a former LA City Commissioner and an elected Assembly Delegate. She serves as President of the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), Chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) Land Use Committee, Secretary of her local Park Advisory Board (PAB) and more. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and has written for the Huffington Post.

Alex Mohajer

Vice President

Alex is an award-winning political activist, organizer, and journalist. He is the Vice President of the Iranian American Democrats representing Los Angeles and served as the first Iranian American and millennial president of the Stonewall Democrats, one the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ political advocacy organizations. He is the recipient of a Truman Award from DPSFV for executive producing the National Vote-at-Home Initiative during the 2020 election and a 2018 Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

He holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a JD from Chapman University School of Law. He is a 2024 candidate for State Senate District 37 who has received endorsements from numerous progressive organizations.

Noojan nooraie

Secretary

Noojan Nooraie was born in Tehran, Iran but moved to the U.S. at a young age. She is of Iranian and Kurdish descent. She has been politically minded since her youth with an expressed interest in women’s rights, climate change, and housing inequality.

She has most recently acquired a B.A. in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.

Sudi Farokhnia

Treasurer

Sudi Farokhnia is a Risk and Audit professional; Co-founder of Iranian American Democrats of California, Elected Delegate to CADEM since 2019, DPOC Central Committee Member, 2020 Elected DNC Delegate CD45, Treasurer of Feel the Bern Democratic Club OC, Women Rights activist, a devoted Community Organizer, and Philanthropist.  She is also a member of the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee with the Registrar of Voters in OC.

As an attentive listener and passionate advocate for social justice & gender equality, Sudi prioritizes removing all barriers of voting, promoting Diversity and Inclusion by amplifying the voice of the under-represented communities, advocating for Progressive values, standing up to Hate & Violence (end endless wars that displaces people, especially women and children), cutting military spending, demilitarizing the police, closing private prisons, and holding our elected officials Accountable and Accessible to their constituents.

fariba (faye) hezar

SoCal Regional Chair

Fariba Hezar is a community activist, organizer, and member of the Democratic Party central committee of Orange County. Her undergraduate degree is in Biology & Chemistry and has PsyD in clinical Psychology. She has been a campaign manager for the Iranian community in LA and OC Census in 2010 and 2020. Fariba is currently the VP, Field Operation and Fundraising Co-Chair for the Newport Beach Women Democratic Club. She has been a Delegate to CADEM, since 2018 and has served in the JEDI Standing Committee.

Faye is currently VP of Political Action of National Women Political Caucus, a multi-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process. Lastly, she is a member of the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee with the Registrar of Voters in OC to assure voters with limited-English proficiency can fully participate.

mariam hashemi

SoCal Regional Vice Chair

Born in Ukraine to parents of Afghan and Russian descent, Mariam moved to the United States with her family in 1995. She graduated from The George Washington University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in International Business. Over the last eight years, Mariam has developed a robust career in Threat & Risk Management, contributing her expertise to firms like PwC and now leading the Risk Intelligence department at Robinhood Markets.

She is passionate about elevating marginalized voices and supporting diversity in the political landscape. 

 

shervin aazami

la Regional Chair

Shervin Aazami is an Italian-born Iranian American who grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. A policy analyst by training, Shervin previously worked on Capitol Hill in Washington DC for a national Native American health advocacy non-profit, and now works for a statewide progressive criminal justice non-profit founded and led by Californians directly harmed by the carceral system. Shervin is the Chartered Democratic Club Representative for Stonewall Democrats, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2022 to represent the 32nd District.

While forever a Bruin, Shervin also holds a Master of Public Health from George Washington University and a Master of Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill. Shervin lives with his wife, two rambunctious young children, & dog Vicki, in the San Fernando Valley.

shiela parisa rossi

la Regional Vice Chair

Sheila Rossi is a seasoned strategist, grassroots organizer, and community advocate with over twenty years’ experience working with private and non-profit organizations. She is deeply passionate about universal healthcare, education and health equity, criminal justice reform, data privacy and security, transparency and accountability in government, holistic planning, and overall good governance.  Sheila currently serves as a CADEM AD 49 delegate and JEDI facilitator, a member of SoCal American College of Healthcare Executives DEI committee, and as Vice-Chair of the Finance Commission for the City of South Pasadena. 

Sheila earned her BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley and recently completed her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from USC. Most importantly, she is the proud mother of three amazing changemakers and hopes to empower the next generation of progressive leaders to ensure a more just and equitable society.

Iman Novin

NorCal Regional Chair

Iman has over 14 years of experience in the multifamily development sector with a focus on affordable housing, mixed-income and transit-oriented development.  Prior to starting Novin Development, Iman worked at MidPen Housing as Director of Acquisitions and at BRIDGE Housing as a Project Manager in both northern and southern California.

Iman is active locally serving on the Walnut Creek Planning Commission and Board of Directors of the Trinity Center and Chamber of Commerce. Iman holds degrees in Structural Engineering and Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego with honors.

ryan khojasteh

NorCal Regional Vice Chair

Ryan Khojasteh is a deputy district attorney with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. He was previously an assistant district attorney with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Ryan is committed to advancing public safety in a responsible way within our communities. He has a long history of involvement in the Democratic Party, having served as the president of his local democratic club in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco and as a board member of the San Francisco Young Democrats. Ryan also served as an Immigrant Rights Commissioner at San Francisco City Hall for six years, standing up and advocating for the well-being of the many immigrant communities in San Francisco. 

Mana Shooshtari

Central Valley Regional Chair

Mana Shooshtari is a first-generation Iranian American activist from Stockton, CA. Inspired by the courageous Iranian people’s uprising in response to the murder of Mahsa Zhina Amini, Mana’s outspoken activism on gender equality and human rights resulted in her addressing the United Nations during their commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Mana also co-authored and successfully passed a resolution honoring the Woman, Life, Freedom revolution, making the California Democratic Party and the California State Legislature the first to officially recognize this historic movement statewide.

She serves as the Grassroots Democrats HQ’s Executive Strategist. In 2021, she was elected to Delegate to the CA Democratic Party for AD13. She has a B.A. in Political Science from San José State University and currently works as a congressional staffer in Washington D.C.

nadia mahallati

central valley Regional Vice Chair

Nadia’s political advocacy began when she was 17 years old, frustrated that those around her were politically apathetic despite having already reached voting age. Since then, she has worked to ensure as many people as possible are informed voters and engaged in the democratic process: teaching political science courses; working on federal, state, and local campaigns; building expertise in numerous policy areas through two doctoral programs; serving in multiple party leadership positions, eventually as Vice Chair of the Utah Democratic Party; and becoming a nationwide leader on political party investigations of allegations of harassment and discrimination. After more than a decade away, Nadia is thrilled to continue these efforts back in her home state of California.

Parshan Khosravi

Chair of Policy Development Committee

Parshan is a legislative advocate, grassroots organizer, and unapologetic voice for equity-driven public policy. As a former Iranian refugee and a member of the Zoroastrian community, Parshan is a fierce advocate for immigrant rights, and a believer in the power of education as a mechanism of community empowerment. Parshan’s policy focus areas include higher education, immigration, and labor rights. In his professional job as the Government Relations Director of the University of California Student Association, Parshan leads the organization’s advocacy efforts in Sacramento and Washington DC. Parshan also currently serves as the chair of the CYD Labor Caucus.

Keristofer Seryani

Chair of Endorsement Committee

Keristofer was born in Tehran, Iran, of Armenian and Assyrian ethnicity and moved to the US at the age of 12. He is a life-long Democrat with a keen interest in Women’s rights and equality. He currently serves as an ADEM delegate for AD12, e-board member, and vice-chair of the Finance Steering Committee within the California Democratic Party. Keristofer holds a B.A. degree in economics and political science from Whittier College and a M.S. in Foreign Service with a concentration in International Finance and Commerce from Georgetown University and has spent the past two decades structuring and developing large-scale energy infrastructure projects.

farzad qmehr

Chair of Membership Committee

Farzad Qmehr was born in Tehran, migrated to US during his teen years (13-19).  Later, he went back to Iran and lived there for a few years before returning to the US..  He was involved with the Iranian student movement in the US, and remained independently active in political scene of Iran in the post regime-change.  He has been involved in various degrees with progressive groups in the US over the years, with strong emphasis on anti-war activism.  Currently he is on the board of Sacramento Area Peace Action, involved with DSA and it’s International subcommittees, as well as few other progressive groups. He was elected as a California Democratic Party’s delegate (ADEM) in 2021 and has continued to remain active along with other members of a local progressive slate.  He worked as a Transportation Engineer.

this can be you

Chair of Outreach Committee

TBD

This can be you

Chair of digital media Committee

TBD

this can be you

Chair of fundraising Committee

TBD