Neda Nobari

Neda Nobari is an Iranian-American business woman, philanthropist and humanitarian. She was born in Tehran and raised in Abadan until she moved to the United States at the age of 15. Her childhood memories of Iran are mostly from Abadan and Khoramshahr since her father, Iman, worked for the National Iranian Oil Company, and was a life-long Sherkati. After graduating from San Francisco State University in 1984 with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Neda spent the next 22 years on building a global fashion brand and raising a family. At bebe, Neda served as the Vice President of Design and Vice Chair of the Board and at home she served as Chief Mom and Vice President of Hospitality. In 2015, Neda earned her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College while raising her two sons in New England. Neda’s graduate research, which focused on the intersection of diaspora and cultural identity of Iranian-American women, connected her with IAW Foundation Founder, Mariam Khosravani. Since their connection in 2013, Neda has served IAWF as a trustee, Northern California Chapter Chair, and Co-Chair of the last two conferences held in San Francisco. In addition to leading her own foundation for the past 13 years, Neda has also served on over a dozen nonprofit boards and advisory boards catering to both Iranian and non-Iranian communities. Her philanthropic philosophy and living practice strives to empower the human potential especially those living in the margins of society. To support her commitment to an equitable future, Neda has contributed over $10 Million in grants and endowments to date. In 2016, Neda established the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at her alma mater, San Francisco State University. The first and only academic institution of its kind, the Center is dedicated to interdisciplinary inquiry of Iranian diaspora experience, its impact on transnational identity, and the exploration of overlooked narratives about what it means to be a hyphenated Iranian. Neda’s conviction for the importance of California’s public higher education system and San Francisco State University's legacy of racial, ethnic and social justice, made SF State the perfect home for this innovative research center. Besides her philanthropic support, Neda also serves on the Board of Directors of the University Foundation, bringing to bear institutional and financial practices in pursuit of social and environmental justice.