Mahnaz Khazen, Chairwoman

Ms. Mahnaz Khazen is a leader in social impact investing, community development, and urban revitalization, with a focus on the San Francisco Bay and active across the U.S. She is a licensed Real Estate Broker, a Certified Commercial Member (CCIM), and a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS), with more than 25 years of experience in real estate investment, financing, and management.

Mahnaz successfully led the re-capitalization of of Tri-Valley Bank, a distressed financial institution in northern California, which was later acquired by Heritage Bank.

In 2013, Mahnaz led the acquisition and multimillion-dollar renovations to revive the historic Lake Merritt Lodge, a 96 room Single Residence Occupancy (SRO) facility, which has been a pillar of the community in Oakland for close to a century. In June 2021, Mahnaz was joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and other leading figures to inaugurate the full capacity usage of the facility to shelter and support homeless and medically vulnerable senior citizens in Oakland.

Mahnaz's accomplishments and community impact have been covered extensively by the press in the San Francisco Bay area, where Mayors, Chiefs of Police, and Council Members in numerous cities (especially San Jose, Saratoga, and Oakland) have praised her for her impact.

Upon his election,  Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose, the tenth largest city in the U.S.,  appointed Ms. Khazen to serve on his transition committee to advise his economic council. She has also served as Vice President of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce.

She speaks Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and German.

Media coverage of some of Ms. Khazen's work:

  • Oakland developer Mahnaz Khazen rebounds from adversityThe Mercury News
  • Oakland's old Lake Merritt Lodge will become a COVID-19 homeless shelter-
  • Visa program could help bank recapitalize - The Washington Post
  • Oakland hotel converted to homeless residences during pandemic fills in just under a month- 

Alidad Mafinezam, Ph.D., President

Alidad Mafinezam is an author and convener focused on the intersection of social science and comparative public policy. Mafinezam is co-founder of the Mosaic Institute in Toronto, and co-founder and former board member of the Iranian Canadian Congress, for whom he has moderated numerous candidates debates at the federal, state (provincial), and municipal levels. He was a Principal Investigator at the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement. He has acted as an advisor to UN University for Peace, Centre for Applied Studies in International Negotiations in Geneva, and the Center for Urban Policy Research in New Brunswick, NJ...
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Jahandad Memarian, Research Associate

Jahandad Memarian is a research associate at the West Asia Council. He is also a senior research fellow at Nonviolence International and a contributor to Al-Monitor and the Huffington Post. He holds an M.A. in Western Philosophy from the University of Tehran. Jahandad won a full scholarship from the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology to pursue his PhD in epistemology at the University of Munich, Maximilian...
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Farzaneh Roudi, Board Member

Farzaneh Roudi who has been with the Population Reference Bureau since 1987 is a senior policy analyst, serving as Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She initiated the Program in 2001, with the goal of responding to the region's need for timely and objective information and analysis on population, socioeconomic, and reproductive health issues. The program explores the linkages among these issues and provides evidence-based policy and program recommendations for decisionmakers in the region. Ms. Roudi...
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Farzin Arsanjani, Founding Board Member

As the Co-Founder and President of HyperOffice, Farzin Arsanjani is focused on developing and executing the company's business plan.

Farzin is also a co-founder of and

Prior to founding HyperOffice, Mr. Arsanjani founded and grew HTR to a nationwide operation delivering software training, consulting and publishing services. HTR delivered its services worldwide in multiple languages through key alliances with software vendors to Fortune 2000 organizations in the commercial and public sectors...
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