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September 7, 2017 10:47 am

Iranian Jewish Academic and Philanthropist, Who Fled Tehran as Child During Islamic Revolution, to Head up ADL’s International Outreach

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avatar by Ben Cohen

New ADL Senior Vice President for International Affairs Sharon Nazarian. Photo: Nazarian Foundation.

An Iranian Jewish woman whose family escaped from Tehran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 has been appointed to lead the Anti-Defamation League’s international outreach, with a strong focus on the fight against antisemitism globally.

Sharon Nazarian was announced as ADL’s senior vice president for international affairs on Wednesday. A Los Angeles resident, Nazarian is an adjunct professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Political Science. She is also the founder of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA and the chair of its advisory board.

Nazarian said that she reflected strongly on her past in deciding to accept the position. “Having fled from Iran because of the revolution, having been born into a Muslim-majority country, knowing how it feels to be a minority in a Middle Eastern country, those are experiences that inform me,” she told The Algemeiner. “Joining ADL is a true convergence of all my worlds.”

“Sharon’s depth and breadth of experience in academia, philanthropy, policy and international affairs makes her the perfect fit to lead ADL’s international efforts,” ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said, following Nazarian’s appointment. “She brings a level of expertise and perspective that is extraordinary.”

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