Source: World Affairs Council
Each year, the World Affairs Council and its project the Global Philanthropy Forum hosts an Awards Dinner to honor Bay Area leaders who have significantly influenced the world in which we live, work and learn. This Spring we celebrate the outsized contributions made to our economy and culture by exceptional individuals born abroad, but living here. Among them are extraordinary leaders, whose impact is substantial.
Our 2015 honorees work across sectors, from tech, business, health, the arts and more. We asked them which global issues are currently top of mind to kick off a new World Affairs interview series, "On My Mind."
Three Iranian-Americans were among this year's award recipients: Noosheen Hashemi, Bita Daryabari and Shervin Pishevar:
Noosheen Hashemi: PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER, THE HAND FOUNDATION
Noosheen Hashemi, President and co-founder of The HAND Foundation, is a philanthropist with a passion for entrepreneurship and economic development. Since 2003, she has led The HAND Foundation's efforts to prevent child sexual abuse, strengthen the global middle class and advance the philanthropic sector. Ms. Hashemi is also a trustee of the India Community Center, and an Advisory Council Member for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John's Hopkins University.
From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Hashemi co-founded and chaired PARSA Community Foundation, the first Iranian-American community foundation. Since 1997 Ms. Hashemi has been an independent investor and advisor in the software industry. In 1996, she joined Quote.com, a profitable personal finance pioneer, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to that Ms. Hashemi held various management positions at Oracle Corporation between 1985 and 1995, where she took active part in software's meteoric rise as an industry. She was appointed Director of Finance and Administration in 1988 and named Vice President in 1990. In 1991, she won Oracle's "Against All Odds Award" for her role in the company's financial turnaround. In 1993, she led expansion of Oracle services as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Oracle's Worldwide Education.
Ms. Hashemi is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the advisory board of Persian Tech Entrepreneurs. She has been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the CEDAW Human Rights Award for Philanthropy, the Girl Scouts Forever Green Leadership Award and was named one of Gentry Magazine's top 50 philanthropists in 2013. She served as a board member of the New America Foundation from 2005-2012. She holds a B.S. in Economics from San Jose State University and an M.S. in Management from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where she became a Sloan Fellow.
Bita Daryabari: FOUNDER, PARS EQUALITY CENTER
Bita Daryabari embodies the spirit of humanist philanthropy. She received her Master's degree at Golden Gate University in California, where she was awarded Alumni of the Year in 2008. Upon graduation, she joined GammaLink, Inc., one of the early pioneers in the field of telecommunications. She later moved to MCI Communications where, more than once, she received distinguished awards and recognition for her work. On a personal level, Ms. Daryabari has had a long-standing passion for increasing knowledge of her native Iranian culture, as well as improving the lives of people from Iran and beyond.
Shervin Pishevar: CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR, SHERPA VENTURES
Shervin Pishevar is a serial entrepreneur, leading venture capitalist, and angel investor. He is also a co-founder and managing director at Sherpa Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm.
Prior to founding Sherpa Ventures, Pishevar served as a managing director at Menlo Ventures. While at Menlo, he helped launch the Menlo Talent Fund, Menlo's $20M seed fund. Earlier in his career, Pishevar founded and operated technology-enabled companies, including Webs.com, Social Gaming Network, and HyperOffice. Companies he founded have reached an aggregate of 100 million users and successfully raised an aggregate of $50 million.
As an angel and seed investor, Pishevar has invested in over 60 companies in the social commerce, search, and media sectors as well as in the Ad tech and mobile sectors.
Pishevar was chosen by the U.S. Government as an Outstanding American by Choice, one of the only 100 naturalized Americans to be chosen since the beginning of the award. He serves on the advisory board of Comscore, is one of the 10 members of the UN Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council, serves as an entrepreneurial ambassador in several state department delegations to the Middle East and Russia, and was a key note speaker at the President Obama's Summit on entrepreneurship in Algeria.
Pishevar is a graduate from the University of California, who holds a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies, a published researcher in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) and Neuroscience Letters, and the author of several U.S. patents.
Awards Dinner 2015: About the Honorees
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