The following candidates have certified that they meet all the eligibility criteria. They are authorized to stand as candidates.

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1 The biographies of the candidates for the ICC s board of directors are set forth below, listed by alphabetical order of last name. Please note that the biographies are published as submitted and have not been subject to editing by the ICC. The following candidates have certified that they meet all the eligibility criteria. They are authorized to stand as candidates. CANDIDATE NAME PAGE NUMBER Ms. Yasna Beheshti 2 Ms. Shahla Ghafouri 3 Dr. Alireza Jahangir 4 Ms. Azadeh Shahnavaz 6 Mr. Ardalan Shojaei 7 Ms. Sima Tajdini 8 Ms. Sarah Takhsha 9 Ms. Sima Sahar Zerehi 10 The following individuals have indicated that they do not meet the one-year membership eligibility requirement. Their candidacy is conditional on the approval by the ICC s membership of a motion presented by the board of directors that the one-year membership eligibility requirement be waived for the 2013 AGM. CANDIDATE NAME PAGE NUMBER Ms. Maryam Nayeb Yazdi 11 Mr. Arsham Parsi 12 Mr. Medi Shams 13 The following individual has indicated that he does not meet the Canadian citizenship eligibility requirement. His candidacy is conditional on the approval by the ICC s membership of a motion presented by the board of directors that the citizenship eligibility requirement be waived for the 2013 AGM. CANDIDATE NAME PAGE NUMBER Mr. Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir 14 1

2 YASNA BEHESHTI Yasna Beheshti is currently a student-at-law at a personal injury law firm based in Toronto. She will be called to the Bar in June She holds an Honours International Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University and completed her law degree at the University of Ottawa where she was one of the founding members and treasurer of the Iranian Law Students Society. Prior to law school, she worked as a an Associate Marketing Manager at two different multinational consumer packaged goods companies in Montreal and Toronto where she was responsible for developing brand strategies, consumer marketing plans and conducting business analysis on her product portfolios. My interests in joining the Board of Directors: After gaining first-hand experience on the Board of Directors as an appointment member over the past several months, I believe my strong work ethic, dedication and passion for enhancing the lives of the Iranian Community in Canada will be a great addition to team. For example, I played an instrumental role as part of the marketing committee for the ICC Achievement Awards ceremony and acted as the Master of Ceremonies of the event. Furthermore, I have an approachable personality and curious mind which will enable me to interact and reach out to various members of our community in order to understand the issues and/or concerns the ICC should address. Finally, as a young professional Iranian woman born in Iran and raised in Canada, I hope my nomination to the Board will motivate and encourage the young Iranian generation to participate and engage with the ICC so that the organization will continue to evolve and prosper in the future. 2

3 SHAHLA GHAFOURI Ms. Shahla Ghafouri was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She obtained her BA from Tehran University, specialising in Persian Literature. She worked for several years as a teacher of elementary and high schools in Tehran and Isfahan. After immigrating to Canada in 1991, Ms. Ghafouri pursued her career in education by attending Teachers College at York University and obtained her Bachelor of Education in Since then, she has been working as an elementary school teacher for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Ms. Ghafouri has been active in the local community for many years through her work with the School Community Engagement initiative via the TDSB and York University as well as served as a heritage language teacher at TDSB. While working as a heritage language teacher, she planned and directed many Iranian cultural events such as the celebration of Nowruz, Chahar Shambeh Souri and Mehregan for both the Iranian and Canadian communities in Toronto. Ms. Ghafouri actively contributes to various humanitarian causes and is the founder and director of an organization that helps Iranian refugees in Turkey by aiding in their immigration to Canada and creating a welcoming and supportive environment for them in their new Country. I can better help the community through my role on the ICC Board of Directors: I believe that my personality, communication skills and experience as an organizer within the Iranian-Canadian community can help strengthen the cooperation within, and collaboration between, the ICC and the community. Through organizing volunteers around the ICC events and other community-building initiatives, I will help create stronger bonds between the ICC and Iranian Canadians, strengthening the organization as a whole. If elected, my goal is to help to establish committees and sub committees to promote Iranian culture and human rights. I believe my familiarity with the education system in Canada is an important factor in the progress and success of newcomers in this country, and I endeavor to hold workshops and informational sessions for them with the help of authorities, professionals and volunteers. As a teacher who has worked within the Iranian community and taught Persian language classes, I hope my nomination to the Board will motivate and encourage my students, who are now the younger generation of Iranian professionals in Toronto, to participate in and engage with the ICC so that the organization will continue to evolve and prosper in the future. 3

4 DR. ALIREZA JAHANGIR Dr. Alireza Jahangir was born in Tehran and has been living in Canada with his family since the mid-1980 s. He earned his MA.SC & PhD in Materials and Biomedical Engineering and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University. He is currently an R&D Technology Manager at a Global Service Energy firm and a Senior IP Consultant at a boutique services and strategy firm specializing in innovation-driven businesses. Previously, Ali worked as Principle Scientist at Johnson & Johnson in Montreal, working within the Global Research Network, bringing advance technological platforms and incorporated them into novel and innovative products. Prior to J&J, he was a Technical Consultant at a large Bay Street corporate law firm, where he drafted, prosecuted and analyzed patents and patent applications involving a wide range of technologies including oil & gas, biomedical devices and biotechnology innovations. He was also an adjunct professor at Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and guest lecturer at various Canadian and US universities, including Harvard, MIT, McGill, Toronto and Worcester. Parallel to his academic and professional achievements, Dr. Jahangir has been an active and strong advocate of Iranian community in both Canada and United States. Briefly, in early 90 s he was the founder and president of the Association of Iranian Students (AIS) at the University of Toronto, and organized the first Nowruz celebration of Iranian community at the prestigious Royal Ontario Museum. By mid-2000 s, while pursuing his studies at Harvard, Ali was asked to join the Iranian Study Group (ISG) at MIT and assisted in releasing two crucial studies related to socioeconomic characteristics of Iranian-American community. Upon his return to Canada, Ali was part of organizing committee (i.e. Marketing) of Tirgan Festival in Ali is fluent in English, French and Persian. Why Running for Board of Directors Position: The growth of a vibrant and prosperous Iranian-Canadian community, of over 120,000, presents a tremendous opportunity to lay the groundwork for a strong and united community whose best days are yet to come. In 2007, ICC was established as the uniting force and the main voice of advocacy for Iranian-Canadian community. The success of this organization was on full display on April 5 th, 2013, during the Achievement Award Gala in Toronto, attended by nearly 1000 participants. Building on this recent incredible momentum and opportunity, I have decided to put forward my candidacy for the Board of Directors at ICC, to work closely with its dedicated members and make the organization the generator and cultivator of big ideas and programs that enhance, protect and promote Iranian-Canadian community, irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political views. Accordingly, empowering the ICC as a truly national advocacy organization implies reaching out to all Iranians beyond GTA and Ontario borders and engaging them in this common journey toward unity, solidarity and progress. In fact, I intend unequivocally, to emphasize on Iranian unity across Canada but not uniformity of viewpoints; an approach that is 4

5 premised on the belief that, when combined with a broad sense of solidarity, a healthy diversity of opinion among Iranian-Canadians is a source of community strength and vitality. I will work diligently to create and implement strategies to improve quality of Iranian lives in Canada, by advancing public policy interest of the Iranian-Canadian community and providing information, education and research to Canadians in a variety of fields (e.g. government, media and academia) on range of key topics, including, human rights, immigration, and various domestic public and social policy matter. I, therefore, ask for your vote, to make ICC a more robust, cohesive and dynamic organization capable of representing the aspiration of Iranian Canadians across this vast country. 5

6 AZADEH SHAHNAVAZ Miss Azadeh Shahnavaz is a board member of International center for Human Rights in Iran since June 2010 and board member of Iranian artistic and cultural center since She is very active on throughout Iranian-Canadian community organizations for public benefit. She is also volunteers for the United Student Front in Toronto to defend Iranian people s right and also works as a volunteer school Teacher for youth. Through her activities she has organized many human rights, social and cultural events in Toronto in the best interest of Iranian community. Azadeh Shahnavaz was graduated in Electrical ENG from Ryerson University and currently is a Human Rights student at York University. 6

7 ARDALAN SHOJAEI Ardalan Shojaei has extensive experience as a management consultant based in Toronto. He has managed projects with more than 30 multinational clients in the U.S. and Canada dealing with strategic and operational issues. His experience includes running the project management office of a $1B private-sector client. Ardalan earned an MBA (Hons.) at the Rotman School of Management, as well as an electrical engineering (Hons.) BASc. degree, both from the University of Toronto. Prior to management consulting, Ardalan worked with a high-tech firm in Silicon Valley, California, on nanotechnology devices. His work resulted in two patents pending. Outside of the professional context, Ardalan is heavily involved with mentorship and coaching in university settings. He serves as the lead advisor for the University of Toronto s Volunteer Consulting Group, which consults for non-profit organizations. Ardalan has been deeply impressed with the growth of the ICC in the past year and believes that his skills and experiences particularly his combination of experience with the private and public sectors can help the organization grow stronger. If elected, his goal is to help increase the ICC s capacity to promote the Iranian Canadian community s interests, human rights, and participation in Canadian society. He believes that his business experience can make the organization and its projects more transparent, efficient, and effective. 7

8 SIMA TAJDINI Sima Tajdini also known as Sima Dini is a Toronto based Artist (painter) and a human right and social justice Activist. She was born and raised in Iran and has been living in Canada since She's had the experience of working and volunteering as a nurse during the Iran-Iraq war; a stay-at-home mother for a few years and then an English tutor/translator and also a painter. The challenges she faced upon arrival to Canada and the years that followed, created a new passion in her and resulted in becoming a trained public speaker with regards to the issues refugees and newcomers in general have to encounter. She's appeared as a guest in TV programs and has written articles in hope of improving the condition for the newcomers. Sima appreciates and enjoys the freedom she has in her second home, Canada; and has extended experience volunteering in a number of places including out of the cold program, an Art centre, a refugee settlement organization and an alternative medicine centre. She has expanded her Painting profession to a small business running from home by turning her paintings to ArtCards and has been teaching Painting as well. She strongly believes in the importance of individuals being involved in establishing and maintaining a just and humane society which is full of creativity and productivity. A society that everyone can enjoy diversity and freedom to blossom to the best they can be. 8

9 SARAH TAKHSHA Sarah was born and raised in Iran. She speaks Farsi, English and German. She studied at the Institute of Technology in Ahvaz, Iran, where she obtained a Civil Engineering Technologist diploma while working at the National Iranian Oil Company. She left Iran for Germany, where she would spend the next 5 years of her life. Sarah attended the University of Bonn, Germany, where she studied medicine just short of finishing her third year. Seeking a better life for her children, Sarah decided to leave Germany and her studies behind in order to join her husband in Canada. Since 1989, Sarah has been working at the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Court of Justice. She has been active in humanitarian causes, most notably, with the Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, United Way and YMCA. She is also an active member of her local Toronto community and participates actively in supporting the Iranian-Canadian community in political campaigns and groups that focus on Iranian humanitarian issues and with various charities involved in relief efforts for Iranian citizens and refugees. Sarah currently works as a Judicial Administrative Assistant to six judges at the Ontario Court of Justice, at Old City Hall, Toronto. 9

10 SIMA SAHAR ZEREHI Sima Sahar Zerehi is a program coordinator and instructor at Humber College s School of Social and Community Services as well as a journalist and editor with Shahrvand Publications. Zerehi has over ten years of experience in media and communications, acting as a spokesperson and media strategists for a number of labour, political, community campaigns and organizations. Her experience includes working as a Communications Coordinator for Unite Here, the Hotel Workers Union, as a Human Rights and Diversity representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers and as a media strategist with the Good Jobs for All Campaign. Zerehi has spearheaded dozens of major campaigns, including the national campaign against the immigration changes within Bill C-50, which allotted the Minister of Immigration unfettered control over the selection of new immigrants, and Save Our Voice, a successful provincial campaign launched to oppose the application of the HST on ethnic media outlets. Currently, Zerehi is a regular guest and commentator on various mainstream television and radio programs including, CBC Radio's Metro Morning and CTV's Express, speaking on issues related to Iran, the Middle East, ethnic communities, and immigration. Zerehi is hoping to join the ICC in order to assist the Iranian-Canadian community acquire greater reach within broader Canadian society. She believes that her experiences and networks will enable her to assist in building greater links between the ICC and mainstream Canadian media outlets, political bodies, labour as well as with similar community organizations representing other immigrant communities. Despite her commitment to journalism, human rights, social justice causes, and academia, Zerehi holds out hope that one day she can live out her dream of becoming a world traveler and artist. 10

11 MARYAM NAYEB YAZDI** (** Candidacy subject to approval of waiver motion by ICC members) Maryam Nayeb Yazdi is a writer, editor, and consultant working in the field of human rights and online activism. She has served the Iranian-Canadian community for the past nine years. Born in Mashhad, Iran she immigrated to Toronto, Canada in While studying at York University as an English major, Maryam began working with a local media company. She held several positions there including being a project coordinator, team leader, and proposal writer. In 2008, she was selected to serve as the editor-in-chief for the inaugural issue of a magazine created for Tirgan, one of the largest Iranian festivals in the world. In the same year, she created Faryad, an online cultural magazine that aimed to provide a bridge of communication, understanding and appreciation between the people of Iran and the Iranian Diaspora. Following the Iranian people s uprising in 2009, she shifted her focus and growing intellectual resources towards advocating and supporting Iranian people in their struggle for freedom and democracy. In September 2009, she created Persian2English, an online blog with a mandate to expose the human rights violations in Iran to the international audience by breaking language barriers through translation. Since its inception, Persian2English has succeeded at gaining the attention and support of academics, journalists, politicians, reporters, and the media throughout the world. In 2011, the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR), part of Columbia University Libraries, selected Persian2English for inclusion in its Human Rights Web Archive. Maryam also holds the distinction of being the North American spokesperson for Iran Human Rights, an NGO with its headquarters in Norway. Iran Human Rights focuses mainly on the death penalty in Iran. She has also spearheaded and collaborated on projects and campaigns with many groups, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Senate. In fall 2012 Maryam was appointed to the board of directors of the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC). Since her appointment she has been an active member of the ICC and has successfully helped the organization gain public exposure. She has also played an instrumental role in the planning and organizing of two large ICC events. Maryam is among the influential people selected to speak in May 2013 at the fifth annual Oslo Freedom Forum. Her talk will discuss the ways Iranian authorities use the death penalty to suppress civil society. The three-day summit aims to explore how best to challenge authoritarianism and promote free and open societies. Maryam's tireless human rights activism was recognized in 2013 when she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada. 11

12 ARSHAM PARSI** (** Candidacy subject to approval of waiver motion by ICC members) Arsham Parsi is a well-known Iranian homosexual who fights for queer rights in Iran. He started his activism in 2001 when he was still in Iran. He founded Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO), the first Iranian organization with focus on homosexuality in Arsham Parsi had to leave Iran in 2005 due to series of threats he was faced on the basis of his sexual orientation and activism. He has dedicated his life to the Iranian queer human rights cause. He is currently the executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR), an international non-profit organization based in Toronto, Canada that is helping Iranian queers and those who escaped Iran on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. He is also the coordinator and cultural ambassador for the Stockholm-based International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network (ILGCN), an official member and affiliate of the Brusselsbased International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad Group, and the Berlin-based Advisory Committee of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation for LGBT Human Rights. In April 2008, Arsham's organization was awarded the Felipa De Souza Human Rights Award by the New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). In June 2008, he was recognized at the Toronto Pride Award for Excellence in Human Rights. In August 2011, his organization awarded The Best Entry Theme Award by Pride Toronto. Arsham Parsi have a dream, too. His dream is that one day the rights of all queers will be recognized and respected everywhere. That one day no one will be executed, tortured, arrested, imprisoned, isolated or disowned by their families and communities merely for the "crime" of being gay. He dreams of the day when his and other innocent Iranians' sexual orientation will not be legal cause to deprive them of their fundamental human rights. That is his dream and greatest wish, for himself and for all the voiceless in Iran who cannot speak for themselves. He declares this dream of him for all. He hopes one day soon to achieve this dream for all of his fellow citizens in Iran that he loves and once called home. He hope to do so again in Iran one day soon. Iran is not merely where He is from. It is who he is. 12

13 MEDI SHAMS** (** Candidacy subject to approval of waiver motion by ICC members) - My name is Medi Shams, born in 1951, Tehran, Iran. - Graduated from Beaux Arts, Paris as an architect. - Living in Canada since Self employed as a designer, sign maker and print man. - Owner of Sign and Print at 6186 Yonge St., North York, Ontario, M2M 3X1 - Tel: An active member of No Deportations to Iran, a human rights activist group, which is trying to stop all deportations of Iranian refugees to Iran, and has succeeded to reach its goal since January An active member of Hambastegi & Hemayat a group of people who believe in Joy, Peace and Love for everyone. Medi believes to reach that goal we need to be united. If our community were united we didn t have to witness the suffering that refugees are going through, the abuse of TD Bank, the contradictory politic of Harper s government toward Iran and its human rights situation. Medi strongly believes that it is the right time for him to be a part of ICC board and be the voice of those who lost their hope in this wonderful and useful organization. 13

14 Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir** Mr. Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir (known as Ardeshir Zarezadeh) is a human rights defender, researcher and journalist. Ardeshir worked for United State s International Broadcasting Bureau as a researcher, writer and live TV show contributor on Iran from 2007 to Since he left IBB he started working for a Washington DC based organization Non-Violence International and later on with some other NGOs and think-thanks. Ardeshir was arrested 12 times in Iran and spent two years in solitary confinement. He received 7 years jails sentence in 2005 and had to flee the country. He received Canadian permanent residency in He was a spokesperson of the United Student Front, the biggest student secular democrat group in Iran during Mohammad Khatami's presidency and the founder of the first Student human rights organization known as The Student Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners. Through this committee he successfully ran a campaign to save the life of political prisoners who were under torture. Ardeshir is now the executive director of the International Center for Human Rights in Toronto and works in best interest of Iranian people around the world. His work for prisoner and Refugee s rights is well-recognized. He is also editor of Dadgar Magazine, which is a law magazine in Toronto. His education includes graduate degree in political science and diploma in journalism, computer and paralegal. In the last 6 years he received few international human rights awards for his work on defending Iranian people s right. Ardeshir is a member of ICC in good standing since

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