Washington, D.C. - The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) held its first reception for Iranian Americans who work for members of Congress and the Executive Branch on March 6, 2009. Special guests included the Honorable Bijan Kian, Director of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the highest ranking Iranian American government appointee, and the Honorable Goli Ameri, Former Assistant Secretary of State, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The purpose of the reception was to begin the process of building
a network of Iranian Americans in public service. "PAAIA commends your
dedication to public service and underscores its commitment as an organization
and on behalf of the Iranian American community to support your careers", said
Babak Hoghooghi, Executive Director of PAAIA. "In return, we only ask that you
promote a spirit of community building and help support future generations of
Iranian Americans, who in turn are interested in public service".
The event provided an opportunity for Iranian American legislative staff, State Department employees, and others to interact in an intimate gathering. For some, the event marked the first occasion to meet their fellow Iranian American colleagues. One guest commented that she had worked on Capitol Hill for eight years and that "no one has ever done this for us".
PAAIA is a 501(c)(4) "civic/social welfare organization" that is permitted by law to engage in issue advocacy and lobbying activities. As a social welfare organization, PAAIA can and should ideally have an affiliated political action committee to enhance its political influence building activities. The affiliated PAC will allow the organization to get directly involved in elections at the state and national levels by providing contributions to candidates running for public office.
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