Pardis for Children strives to instill a love of Persian culture and language in the new generation by cultivating their knowledge of Iran’s rich history and heritage. Our hope is to create a strong community of next generation Iranian-Americans by providing education on Persian culture and language in an enriching and welcoming environment. All our board members are also parents of Pardis for Children.
Sanam Akhlagh - President
Sanam Akhlagh is the founder, Executive Director and President of the Board of Pardis for Children. A member of the Iranian diaspora, Sanam was inspired to create Pardis in 2011, following the birth of her first child, to both build a community for the children of Iranian heritage and to a provide a space for both Iranian and non-Iranian children to gain a richer understanding of the Persian language and Iranian culture.
In her role as the Executive Director at Pardis for Children, Sanam oversees all strategic and operational duties. She has led her team in the development of both in-person and virtual educational programming, catering to children of all ages around the world. By creating and publishing original content, including music albums, podcasts, audiobooks, and educational material in both Persian and English, as well as partnering with revered New York institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Asia Society, and NYC Children’s Museums for cultural events, Sanam has ensured that Pardis now reaches well beyond the Iranian community.
Over the years, Sanam has also been involved in countless philanthropic efforts both inside and outside of Iran. From fundraising to help the victims of the 2003 earthquake in Bam, where she flew to Iran to distribute funds to multiple NGOs on the ground, to organizing a documentary film series at NYU, to directing a documentary film herself (The Iron Cradle), Sanam’s mission has been to build a strong community of Iranians living outside the country and to promote the beauty of her culture to the rest of the world.
Sanam earned her BA, Cum Laude, in Operations Research and her MA in Engineering and Management Systems, both from Columbia University. She has served as a consultant for multiple for profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies, including overseeing the Community Partners program for New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunities.
She also serves on the board of trustees at Brooklyn Children’s Museum as well as Khōréō, a quarterly magazine of speculative fiction and migration. Sanam, her husband, Morad Masjedi and their two sons reside in Brooklyn, New York.
Tamilla Ghodsi - Treasurer
Tamilla Ghodsi is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 1997, Tamilla practiced tax law at White & Case in New York from 1994 to 1997. She earned a BA, with honors, in Economics and International Studies from Northwestern University in 1991. She received her JD, cum laude, in 1994 from the University of Michigan Law School, and an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1997. At the University of Michigan Law School, Tamilla served as the editor-in-chief of the Michigan Journal of International Law from 1993 to 1994 and authored the article Tying a Slipknot: Temporary Marriages in Iran, 15 Mich. J. Int’l L. 625 (1994).
Tamilla has been involved in various philanthropic efforts over the years. She was a board member of the Iranian-American Bar Association from 2002 to 2004. Tamilla is also a board member of Razi Health Foundation and the Coalition for Persian Charities. In addition, Tamilla has served on the New York Noruz at the Met Steering Committee 2007 – 2011. Tamilla is a supporter of the Asia Society programs with particular focus on Iranian art, including supporting the Asia Society exhibit: “Ardeshir Mohassess: Art & Satire in Iran” and serving on the Benefit Committee for the exhibit “Glass, Giling, & Grand Design: Art of Sasanian Iran (224-642).” Tamilla is the founder and currently serves as an adviser to Shabeh Jomeh, a monthly gathering of Iranian professionals designed to improve upon existing professional and social relations, which began in New York in February 2000.
Tamilla was born in Mashad, Iran. She, her husband, Bijan Ayromloo, and their two sons reside in New York City.
Maziar Minovi - Secretary
As Chief Executive Officer at Eurasia Group, Maziar Minovi is responsible for directing firm strategy and leading oversight of research, sales, and operations teams across Eurasia Group's global offices. He previously served as managing director at the firm, overseeing coverage of cross-cutting, global trends in geopolitics.
Maziar has twenty-five years of experience investing in international and emerging markets. He was a senior member of the Investment Strategy Group at Goldman Sachs, where he identified investment opportunities in emerging markets—including in debt, equities, and currencies—as well as geopolitical and global policy issues with market impact. Prior to that, Maziar was the head of the Emerging Markets Group at MassMutual/Babson Capital Management. He has also worked for the International Monetary Fund, Long Term Capital Management, Putnam Investment Management, and the World Bank.
Maziar holds a doctorate in international finance and economic development, a master of business administration, and a bachelor of business administration from George Washington University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is on the Investment Committee of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Organizing Committee of Noruz at the Met. He lives with his wife Michelle, and three children: Sirus, Mitra, and Arman in Brooklyn.
Laleh Bashirrad is a Managing Director in the Corporate Banking group at BNP Paribas. Based in New York, Laleh sits on the Loan Syndications desk and covers the Leveraged Finance / Merchant Banking businesses.
Since joining the bank in 2000, Laleh has specialized in structuring and distribution of leveraged debt. Her responsibilities today span capital structure analysis, advising on loan pricing and term sheet negotiation for a variety of transactions including LBO’s, refinancings, recapitalizations and amendments. Furthermore, she is charged with coordinating strategy with the Sales and Trading teams for primary loan distribution and in support of secondary trading. In the past, Laleh has also divided time with the Ratings Advisory team, where she advised clients on ratings related matters and associated capital structure and credit issues. Laleh currently represents the Corporate Banking group on the bank’s Talent Development Board and was an early member of the Diversity Council where she contributed to key initiatives aimed at fostering an inclusive work environment.
Beyond the bank, Laleh was active in establishing the local chapter of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans which aims to further participation of Iranian Americans in all levels of government. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, Laleh began her career in finance at the Charles Schwab Corporation. She earned an M.B.A. from New York University's Stern School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. Laleh lives downtown with her husband, two young children and feisty canine.