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IAPAC Holds Inaugural Gala in Orange County


By: Pouya Bavafa

Honoring the Contributions of Iranian Americans to American Society

Newport Beach, California - The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) held its Inaugural Gala in Orange County on Saturday, March 3, 2007. The reception, entitled "Honoring the Contributions of Iranian Americans,"took place at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.

Mary Apick, an award-winning actress and activist, presided over the evening's events as the Mistress of Ceremony and presented the honorees with an artistic replica of Cyrus the Great's Cylinder, the first universal declaration of human rights made by renowned Iranian artist Nasser Ovissi. The sold-out gala also featured two honorary guests, Irvine Mayor Beth Krom and California State Senator Tom Harmon, who each made introductory remarks.

IAPAC representatives gave a presentation of the organization's mission and accomplishments to the attendees. They cited IAPAC's legislative achievements, its relationships with the Iranian American community and federal lawmakers, and its ranking in the top 20% of all PACs in terms of funds raised during the 2004 and 2006 Election Cycles.

The highlight of the night occurred when IAPAC honored three distinguished Iranian Americans - Goli Ameri, Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, and Dr. Firouz Naderi - for their personal achievements and contributions to society.

Goli Ameri was the 2004 Republican nominee for Congress in Oregon's first district, when she distinguished herself as the top challenger in the country. She was nominated by President Bush as a US Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly and served as a Public Delegate to the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Ameri was honored by IAPAC for her outstanding contributions to government service.

Dr. Fariborz Maseeh is a worldwide expert in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). In 1991 he founded IntelliSense, a pioneering company devoted to the design, development, and manufacture of MEMS devices. After IntelliSense was acquired in 2000, Dr. Maseeh established the Massiah Foundation, whose mission has been to make significant improvements in education, health, the arts, literature and science. Dr. Maseeh was honored by IAPAC for his excellence in philanthropy.

Dr. Firouz Naderi is currently the associate director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Previously, Dr. Naderi led NASA's Mars Exploration Program to a series of unprecedented successes, including the successful launch of Mars Odyssey, the landing of the Mars Exploration Rovers, and the development of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dr. Naderi was honored by IAPAC for his excellence in the fields of science and technology.

IAPAC is a registered bipartisan political action committee that contributes to candidates for public office who are attuned to the domestic concerns of the Iranian American community. IAPAC focuses exclusively on domestic policy issues such as civil rights and immigration, and it encourages Americans of Iranian descent to actively participate in civic affairs.

Over the past three years, IAPAC has: (i) facilitated
briefings on Capitol Hill on the issues of civil liberty and immigration as they relate to Iranian American community, (ii) worked with members of the House of Representatives to introduce a resolution declaring the Congress' condemnation of discrimination against Iranian Americans in any form, (iii) provided direct access for Iranian Americans to their elected representatives by holding a multiplicity of formal and informal events, and (iv) supported candidates for public office who are attuned to the interests of the Iranian American community.


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