Board of Directors
The Board of Directors oversees the governance of United for Iran. Our diverse board is comprised of passionate leaders that offer guidance and support to fulfill the organization’s mission .
Amir Soltani is a graphic novelist, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist. He is the co-creator, with Khalil, of Zahra’s Paradise, a NYT bestselling graphic novel published as an interactive real-time webcomic, Zahra’s Paradise. Zahra’s Paradise is based on the true story of an Iranian woman whose son vanishes after the 2009 protests against Iran’s fraudulent elections. Zahra’s Paradise was nominated for an Eisner Award and has been translated into 16 languages. As founder of the Blue Initiative, Amir drafted an “Open Letter to President Khatami” in defense of students and scholars abducted in the aftermath of the 1999 student protests. The letter was signed by 12 Nobel Laureates and 100 prominent academics. Amir has worked in business, media, nonprofits and philanthropy. He is the executive producer and director of Redemption, a documentary film about garbage recyclers in Oakland, California. His essays and articles have appeared in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, LA Times and CNN.com among other sources.
Watch “In Conversation with Amir,” by Amnesty International here.
Maryam Bayat was trained as a scientist and is currently the executive director of a small sized non-profit organization with over 20 employees and an annual operating budget of over $600,000. As such, for the last five years she has been responsible for the strategic growth, administration, and operations of the organization. This includes all financial planning, program development, fundraising, outreach, and staff management. Prior to this, Maryam spent over a decade as an evaluator and management and strategy consultant for non-profits, start-ups, and Fortune 500 companies.
Maryam’s background in evaluation, operations, and strategic development in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors gives her a unique perspective on how to grow a healthy organization from scratch. While her interests lie in organizations that make a positive impact on society, her forte is working with small startup organizations and helping them define who they are, where they want to be, and how to get there.
Advocacy Director U.S. Campaign for Burma
Jennifer Quigley has worked on the movement for freedom and justice in Burma in different capacities for ten years. Prior to joining the U.S. Campaign for Burma, she worked for the Women’s League of Burma and its member organizations on international advocacy and capacity building both while living in Thailand and in the U.S. Her work included advocating for and with women from Burma at the United Nations to both ensure the U.N. Security Council and other UN bodies pressure the military regime to end violence against women and bring peace and democracy to Burma and guarantee women from Burma are full participants in all stages and decision-making levels of the peace-building process. As the Advocacy Director for the U.S. Campaign for Burma, she works to ensure international policymakers, including the US government, support the movement for freedom and democracy in Burma, provide support for human rights and humanitarian needs, as well as seek to bring justice and an end to crimes against humanity and impunity in Burma.
Co-Founder and US Office Director of Earthrights International (ERI)
Katie Redford is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights and Public Service. She is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar and served as counsel to plaintiffs in ERI’s landmark case Doe v. Unocal. Katie received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1995 to establish ERI, and since that time has split her time between ERI’s Thailand and US offices. In addition to working on ERI’s litigation and teaching at the EarthRights Schools, Katie currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at both UVA and the Washington College of Law at American University. She has published on various issues associated with human rights and corporate accountability, in addition to co-authoring ERI reports such as In Our Court, Shock and Law, and Total Denial Continues. In 2006, she was selected as an Ashoka Global Fellow. Katie has been profiled in Be Bold and Your America: Democracy’s Local Heroes, and the award-winning documentary film Total Denial.