Alireza Ardekani – Executive Director

Alireza Ardekani comes to Farhang Foundation with over nineteen years of experience and success with leading innovative organizations, specializing in marketing strategy, partnership development, project management and digital promotions. Career paths include working for some of the world's most iconic global brands, including, The Walt Disney Studios, Disney Channel, Miramax Films and NBC Entertainment. Oversaw and successfully launched multi-million dollar projects and services, including worldwide marketing campaigns, television networks and digital platforms.

Alireza was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is fluent in Persian, French and English, and is an avid world traveler with a global understanding and appreciation for art, design, entertainment and culture.

He graduated with high honors from the University of Southern California with a BA in communications from the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism, and a minor in Cinema & Television from the School of Cinematic Arts. He is a proud Iranian American and has a passion for Iranian history, art, film, music and cuisine. Alireza has had the privilege of exploring Iran extensively and learning about his fascinating and diverse culture first hand. In his spare time he is a passionate concertgoer, design enthusiast, and loves exploring the diversified cuisine scene of Southern California.


Hassan Izad – Chief Financial Officer

Hassan Izad is President and CEO of Torrance Flite Park (TFP) a construction and development company engaged in construction and management of Airplane hangars for Civil Aviation. He is also Managing Director of GBS Construction, LLC.

Previously, Hassan has had a diverse entrepreneurial background, including work with the University of Southern California School of Engineering Computer Center, consulting with Industrial Management Institute of Iran, an instructor for Operations Research in a management training program, Arthur D. Little, founder and president of Isolayer Co. and founder and president of Cuvolt Co. in Iran. He has also served on many boards including those of Sterling Bank, Westech Corporation, and Pheonix Electronics.

He is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Master's degree in Operations Research and Systems Engineering


Tannaz Guivi - Project Supervisor

A true representation of the Iranian immigrant generation, Tannaz Guivi is born and raised in Tehran. Tannaz holds a BA in Theatre and a minor in Dramatic literature from Tehran University, Faculty of Fine Arts. From running her own art gallery in Tehran, to writing poems and translating outstanding pieces of literature from English to Farsi for the first time, Tannaz’s passion for different nuances of Iranian art and cinema runs deep and close to heart.

Tannaz’s passion is poetry and photography. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than to stroll the streets of Los Angeles, looking to capture the lives of the ordinary people and putting a story and name to them.


Eric Anvari - Secretary

Bio coming soon

Sara Alvarez - Deputy Secretary

Sara Alvarez is a REALTOR® with Rodeo Realty, a full service luxury real estate brokerage.  Before joining Rodeo Realty, Sara was a Senior Consultant with DELTAWRX, a management consulting firm focusing on technology change for public sector clients.  As Senior Consultant, she led project management, procurements, contract negotiations, grant management and stakeholder engagement for her clients.  Prior to DELTAWRX, Sara was principal and founder of Neeku Group, a management consulting company that provided strategy, management and support services.  She also co-founded and served as CEO of FemBotz, Inc., a technology start up developing a mobile platform combing social gaming, online flash sales and local group discounts into one interactive experience.  Sara began her career at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety, where she managed procurements for homeland security projects on behalf of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Sara was born in Tehran, Iran but has lived in Los Angeles for 30 years.   She is a proud Iranian-American and is passionate about promoting Persian culture, music and arts.  Sara especially loves introducing friends and colleagues to her favorite Persian foods.

Sara received a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis, School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California.  She also received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and History from the University of California, Davis.

David. W. Newman - Legal Counsel (Pro Bono)

David Wheeler Newman chairs the Tax Department at the Los Angeles law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP where his practice focuses on the representation of charitable organizations in matters pertaining to governance, tax exemption and charitable gift planning, as well as individuals and families in their estate planning and tax planning pertaining to their investment activities. His institutional clients include The UCLA Foundation, The Salvation Army, hospital foundations, California Institute of Technology and The Nature Conservancy. David's professional affiliations include the National Committee on Planned Giving, where he was a member of that organization's board of directors and the American Council on Gift Annuities, where he currently serves on the board and as chair of its State Regulations Committee. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

David has served the community in leadership positions with several organizations. He is the President Emeritus of New Roads School in Santa Monica, a member of the Professional Advisors Council of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Men's Garden Club of Los Angeles. He graduated with honors in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, and received his JD from UCLA School of Law and his LL.M in Tax Law from New York University School of Law.

Haydeh Shirmohammadi - Special Projects Director

A resident of Los Angeles, Haydeh Shirmohammadi was born in Iran and educated in the U.S. She majored in Business Administration and Marketing and has worked at various Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, ADP, Control Data and DHL. She has also worked as a volunteer for National Parkinson Foundation, Chrysalis and several homeless shelters.

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