Board of Advisors
Dr. Kazem Kazerounian currently serves as Dean and a professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He has been responsible for leading strategic initiatives focused on expanding the School’s research enterprise, institutional advancement, educational innovation, and technology commercialization.
At the national level, he has been the Chair of ASME Design Division Executive Committee and has led several major national and international conferences and technical committees. He has served on the editorial boards of the ASME Applied Mechanics Review and ASME Journal of Medical Devices and has been Associate Editor of both the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design and the Journal of Mechanisms and Machine Theory. In addition, he is a Fellow of ASME and the recipient of the ASME Design Division Mechanisms and Robotics Award (a lifetime achievement award) in recognition of cumulative contributions to the field of mechanisms design and theory (2006), the George Wood Award in recognition of significant contributions to the field of mechanisms and robotics (1997), and the ABB Outstanding Faculty Award (1997). He was inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering (CASE) in 2008.
Dr Ramesh Sepehrrad
Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad is Vice President at Comcast. She responsible for overall governance, technology risk and compliance as it relates to information and infrastructure strategy at Comcast. She oversees the several cyber security teams focusing on the protection of customer data, the security of Comcast’s Enterprise and Delivery infrastructure as well as all technology compliance related activities. Focus areas for her and her team include, data security, network security, application security, technology risk management, policy compliance, regulatory compliance, as well as customer privacy. Dr. Sepehrrad joined Comcast in April of 2007 and brings over 20 years of focused Information Technology, Engineering, and Security experience from a variety of industries. These industries include telecommunication, ISP’s, and manufacturing sectors.
For her corporate leadership in the strategic planning and integration f evolving information technologies, Dr. Sepehrrad has been the recipient of the 2002 Circle of Excellence award, the 2004 Executive Leadership award, the 2005 CIO Award.
Under her leadership, her team has also been awarded numerous industry awards in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2015,Dr Sepehrrad was inducted to Academy of Distinguished Engineers at the University of Connecticut. In 2016, Dr. Sepehrrad earned the nomination from WICT and SCTE for Women in Technology Award.
Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad is also a scholar practitioner at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Dr. Sepehrrad has focused her research and field work on Iranian affairs as it relates to political governance, human rights, gender equality and U.S. policy.
From 1992-2016, Dr. Sepehrrad served as conference director, moderator and panelist at various academic institutions, congressional seminars and United Nations events in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Her parents and sister were arrested by the fundamentalist regime in Iran during the 1980s for helping to publish pro-democracy literature; detained at the age of 14, her sister was kept in prison for two years.
Dr. Ali Parsa
Born in Tehran, Iran, Ali Parsa came to the US to study biochemistry, architecture, and philosophy, then got a double masters at UCLA in history and Islamic/religious studies, followed by a Ph.D. in history. He has been teaching world history, comparative religion, humanities, architecture, philosophy of religion, and gender and religion at universities and colleges in California since 1998.
As a young man Parsa returned to Iran in 1979 to join the revolution against the shah, and though he had to escape back to the US after Khomeini came to power, he continued his political activities against the Iranian regime to promote religious freedom, equality, and women’s rights.
Dr. Parsa seeks ways for people to appreciate different points of view that go beyond political correctness. To that end, he calls for the implementation of paradigm shifts in physics—quantum, relativity, new cosmology—to shape a reinterpretation of human history. This in turn can be applied to religious texts and lead to a more universalist ethic, despite cultural differences.
Dr. Parsa has published numerous articles and presented in many conferences. His book, The Mind of the Historian: Causation on Philosophy of History, which reveals unavoidable biases of historians, is used in graduate-level classes in historiography. His most recent book, World History: A Concise, Selective, Interpretive History of the World, is being used as a textbook for classes in world history throughout United States Colleges and Universities. Under publication is a new book on world religions that is coming soon.
Dr. Majid Sadeghpour
Dr. Majid Sadeghpour is a human rights activist and the political director for Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC). After the 1979 revolution in Iran, his family was persecuted and his brother ultimately executed. Sadeghpour escaped Iran and has since been an active opponent of the Islamist government in Iran. Mr. Sadeghpour has written extensively on Iran and has appeared in both national and international TV programs. Dr. Sadeghpour is a practicing healthcare professional and lives with his wife and children in Fairfax County, VA.
Top Iran-watchers comment on Rouhani's track record and his relations with the West
August 5, 2017
With Hassan Rouhani starting his second term as Iran’s president, VOA Persian remembers that three years ago, American observers Reuel Mark Gerecht and Ali Alfoneh wrote a political portrait of Hassan Rouhani titled “The Man and the Myth: The many faces of Hassan Rouhani” where they traced the life of Hassan Fereydoun – from his birth in Sorkheh in Semnan Province to his theology studies at Alavi School in Qom to his long political career and climb through the Islamic Republic’s top hierarchy culminating in becoming Iran’s president.
Having noted in their long essay that “Rouhani isn’t an open book: He has a layered, somewhat closeted personality,” Gerecht and Alfoneh attempted to find out if Mr. Rouhani was “More-or-less trustworthy, pragmatic interlocutor with the West or deceptive enemy?”
Today, when Hassan Rouhani has completed his first presidential term is about to embark on his second, VOA Persian has asked the same question from a randomly selected group of prominent U.S.-based Iran- watchers. Here are their answers:
Political Director for Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC-US) Washington
As Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Security Council, Hassan Rouhani oversaw “merciless” suppression of the1999 university student uprising, the 1996 Khobar tower bombing, and on April 20, 2014 described Iran’s executions (more than 3,000 during his tenure) as “God’s commandments.” While at least 10,000,000 Iranians grapple with addiction and 18,000,000 more live below the poverty line, on December 31, 2015, Rouhani ordered his armed forces, “to quickly and significantly increase their missile capability.” Rouhani is not a statesman but only a seasoned beast, born out of regime’s medieval theocracy & thus incapable of accepting or embracing democracy.
Director of Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington
Rouhani has shown no interest in halting the policies which most concern the United States: destabilizing the region from Syria to Yemen, developing more sophisticated ballistic missiles, holding Americans hostage, and threatening ships in both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab. Those policies are implemented by hardliners, especially the IRGC, but Rouhani shows no sign he opposes them. Iran’s economy muddles along under Rouhani, with nothing like the boom that he promised for the post-nuclear-deal era. The main problems are domestic, especially the failure to reform banks and to reduce the rampant cronyism. By comparison, U.S. sanctions have limited impact. Consider how the Iran Petroleum Contract is four years late – not due to U.S. sanctions but to hardline opposition to foreign investment.
Chief Executive, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), Washington
Rouhani is a president who is either empowered to set regime policy in which case he is responsible for Iran’s brutal repression at home and Syrian slaughter abroad or he is not in which case he is merely a cover for the regime’s real power brokers.
Either way his rule is unlikely to bring positive change to a long-suffering Iranian people and to a region torn asunder.
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Dr. Majid Sadeghpour introduces Members of Congress to share their remarks with Iranian Americans on the Capitol Hill. Congressmen Engel, Poe, Coffman, Sherman and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen were among dozen speakers at this briefing. January 24, 2017
Articles, Opinions & Interviews:
Iran between presidential elections, support of terrorism – The Axis
With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach
Why the Iranian people support a tougher policy toward Tehran
Interview with Voice of America (Persian)
Iranian regime’s “moderates” and the nuke deal
Operation Storm of Resolve: Lessons for the US Iran Policy.
Trump nominees: No more Mr. Nice Guy on Iran
“Iran is at the heart of radical Islam”
Little to show after the yearlong talks with Iran
3/5/2012, “From Washington Al Mundo” (Interview) – with M. Sadeghpour & Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) – See more at: http://ncpdaus.org/from-washington-al-mundo-an-interview-with-ncpdas-majid-sadeghpour-rep-albio-sires-d-nj/#sthash.Yu3GOLPI.dpuf
The Washington Times,
Iranian Americans Convention for Democracy in Iran
Dr. Majid Sadeghpour, speaks with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights event, U.S. Senate, November 19, 2015
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Hamid Yazdan Panah grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is passionate about serving his community. As an Iranian refugee, Mr. Yazdan Panah understands the challenges faced by those immigrating to a new country. He holds a bachelors degree in political science from the University of California, Davis and a Juris Doctor from the Mcgeorge School of Law.
Hamid has always been interested in law as a means to assist those who need help. During his time at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Hamid participated in the school’s Immigration Clinic, centered on providing undocumented and under privileged individuals with free legal assistance. During his one year at the Immigration Clinic Hamid gained invaluable experience while serving the community.
After graduation Hamid worked at the Dolan Law Firm, one of the premiere Plaintiffs firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Now in his own office, Hamid focuses his practice primarily on immigration, hoping to serve as a resource to immigrants and refugees in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hamid has also been active as a member of the Iranian American Community of Northern California, focusing on legislative advocacy and community outreach on issues related to Iranin refugees and human rights. Apart from his legal work, Hamid is also an active blogger, writer, and tech enthusiast. His interests include environmental policy, cyber activism, and third world politics.
State Bar # # 283539
Dr. Cyrus Samet currently serves as the Chair of Iranian American Community of Maryland. He has for over 3 decades been a leader in the community of Iranians living in the United States. Professionally, Mr. Samet is the Pharmacy operations manager at Baltimore Washington Medical Center and an associate professor at University of Maryland Medical system.
Distinguished Engineer At Xilinx Corporation with 25 years of experience in Technical & Managerial Roles in Semiconductor Industries in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mr. Toutounchi received his B.S. In Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ph.D. in Physics from University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Mr. Toutounchi has represented the Iranian Americans in numerous educational and political seminars in state of California and nationally.
Dr. Masood Maghsoodi
Masood Maghsoodi, R.Ph.
Graduated from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan in 1991. Dr Maghsoodi has been a political activist in last 2 decades, both in Iran and U.S. He has met members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and represented the Iranian Americans in many seminars, briefings and hearings at Michigan House of Representatives and on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Afsaneh Esmaeilbeigi
Afsaneh Esmaeilbeigi, MD, OBGYN
Dr. Esmaeilbeigi was graduated from Tehran Melli University in 1995. She has been active member of the Iranian American Community since her presence in U.S. She lives with her husband and children in Michigan, and contributes much to her community in Okemos. As a woman activist, Dr. Esmaeilbeigi has educated and briefied many members of the Michigan House and Senate, and local and national media outlet representatives.