: Senior Fellow
Mariam Memarsadeghi is a leading proponent for a democratic Iran. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The American Interest, The Jerusalem Post, Tablet, Bulwark, Quillette and other publications. She is a frequent speaker at universities and think tanks worldwide and provides commentary on English, Persian and Arabic language TV news programs.
Mariam is the founder and director of the Cyrus Forum. The Cyrus Forum works to aid a peaceful and durable transition to democracy in Iran through a multi-stakeholder collaborative process convening Iranian leaders with each other and with international experts, lessons and best practices in priority sectors.
She is also the co-founder of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society. Launched in 2010, the virtual institute is now a household brand throughout Iran, offering secure democracy and human rights educational opportunities. Sister initiative TavaanaTech provides internet freedom, digital safety and tech literacy to millions of Iranians.
Mariam previously directed the Middle East & North Africa division at Freedom House and, immediately after the NATO bombing of Kosovo & Serbia, worked for nearly three years in the Balkan region for the International Rescue Committee and the International Organization for Migration.
She was a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar and has been recognized by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the German Marshall Fund as a TransAtlantic Young Leader for her work promoting democracy and human rights globally.
Mariam serves on the board of the Center for Civic Education and is one of a handful of judges for the final, top ten round of the prestigious "We The People" nationwide high school tournament on knowledge of the US Constitution, held every year at the US Capitol.
She has a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College. Mariam migrated from Iran to the US at the age of seven, during the 1979 revolution.