Shiva Farivar was born in Tehran, but spent ten of her childhood years growing up in Germany. In 1978, after graduating from the German High School in Tehran, she moved to California to pursue her higher education. She received her Bachelors' Degrees in Political Science and German Literature from the University of California, San Diego, and her Master's Degree in German Literature from UC Irvine. After graduating, she spent ten years as a Banker in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 1994, Shiva and her family moved to Irvine, and she decided to stay home and raise her children. Being a strong Education advocate, she started volunteering at her children's schools and served on different School Site Councils.
Shiva also became involved in various political causes and campaigns. Her interest in local government became noticed by the Mayor of Irvine. In 2006,Shiva became the Mayor's Executive Assistant, serving as her liaison to cultural, educational and non-profit institutions. The following year, she was appointed to the Community Services Commission, which she also chaired for five years. The Commission oversees all aspects of the City's Parks and Recreation Programs and Services. Shiva also chaired the Advisory Committee of Irvine's Strategic Plan for Children, Youth and Families, which addresses diverse needs of the Community and their solutions. In these roles, Shiva was deeply committed to represent the interests of all Irvine residents in order to achieve the best programs and services the City has to offer. Shiva has always been particularly mindful of the needs of teenagers, and has always sought to make more services available to this age group. Upon her suggestion for a teen tip line, the Community Services Department joined forces with the Public Safety Department, and designed the City's App "Access Irvine", which offers, among many items, a separate section just for teens, with an anonymous tip line. Shiva continues to advocate for new and expanded intervention and prevention services for youth to reduce drug and alcohol use, and increase connectivity to their community through service, education and support. She was recently presented with the "Outstanding Supporter of Prevention Award" by the Irvine Prevention Coalition.
As an active member of the Persian Community, Shiva has, for the past five years, coordinated efforts with other Community leaders to have the City of Irvine proclaim March 21 as Persian New Year Day. This past spring, she directed the 1st Persian New Year Festival in Irvine, which was not only attended by Iranians, but also by Public Officials and the Community-at-Large. Due to the overwhelming success of the event, Shiva and other Community leaders plan to hold the event on an annual basis.
Shiva is an ardent and zealous believer in each individual's exercise of civic duties, and she wholeheartedly wishes for the Persian Community to partake in the American political process, and because of her passion, she decided to run for political office. In 2010, she campaigned for a seat on the Irvine City Council, and although she received over 18,000 votes, she fell short of winning the election. She hopes, however, to have stirred the younger generation's interest to participate in the political system, and become active, civic members of the American society. As for her own plans, a future run for political office is still very much on her horizon!