The first time I spoke behind a microphone, I was 10 years old. I was fundraising for a proposed Persian Center for our Iranian American community in Northern California. The event organizers had a to place a few yellow books under my feet so I could reach the podium. While my voice trembled a bit at first, I quickly realized the power of a message and the power your voice and presence can carry.
My involvement and jumpstart into public speaking came at a young age, and now 20 years later, I am still in awe of how those events sparked my career and passions. I am a Corporate Communications Manager at Google, where I focus on our social impact and philanthropic efforts with Google.org, and I have been at Google in various product and corporate communications roles since July 2012. I also serve as an advisor and operational partner at PejmanMar Ventures, helping early stage startups with their messaging and branding, and recently joined the UC Berkeley Network Webinar Series as a host covering communications and networking.
I graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 2011 with a Masters in Arab/Middle Eastern Studies, and earned my Bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in Political Science and Public Policy in 2007. I moved to DC for what was meant to be one year, and the next thing I knew five wonderful years had gone by. Before moving back to California in 2012, I served as the Research Director and co-founder of the Internet Freedom project, Weapons of Mouse Destruction, worked as a Research Analyst at Voice of America's Persian News Network, and ran all events, programs, and conferences at the University of California Washington Center. While at Georgetown, I was a graduate student researcher on a project assessing the condition of urban Iraqi refugees in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, the Middle East Institute, and served a Graduate Student Intern at the Albright Stonebridge Group, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's global strategy firm.
Outside of work, I'm involved with several community organizations including iBridges, the Iranian American Women's Foundation, the OMID Foundation Bay Area Committee, PAAIA NexGen's National Organizing Committee, and more.
I am still learning, speaking, organizing, and expanding my knowledge about the power of communication. From community events to professional development conferences, it's been a joy to continue this journey! I plan to blog on communication and personal branding soon...stayed tuned!