Avideh Shashaani, President

Avideh Shashaani, President


She was the sixth annual recipient of the “Waging Peace” award instituted by former president Jimmy Carter.
She is the author of three books of poetry. Her last poetry book, Tell Me Where To Be Born focuses on violence against children. She is the editor of Something Deeper Happened: Young Voices and the 2008 US Election with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Her most recent book, Little Garlic—Enchanted Tales for All Ages” has been called by reviewers, “….a timeless spiritual parable.” “…a spiritual bridge between the young and old.” “Little Garlic” and “Little Garlic Companion” reflect her unique international experience as a poet and writer, lecturer, advocate for children, and supporter of youth projects for peace and social justice.

Her poems have been featured in a one-hour program in the Library of Congress radio series for National Public Radio stations. Her poetry and articles have also appeared in anthologies, books, and journals, including the Spirituality in Clinical Practice journal of the American Psychological Association, Oneing (a publication of the Center for Action and Contemplation), and a book by Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

She was the first co-director of the International Institute for Rehabilitation in Developing Countries founded by the United Nations. She was appointed by the UN Secretary General to the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on the “Socio-Economic Implication of Investments in Rehabilitation of the Disabled”.

She has served on various boards including the Faith and Politics Institute that sponsors Congressional pilgrimages, Thomas Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, Refugee Women in Development, and the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education.

She has taught mediation and stress management at numerous organizations including the U.S. Senate, Capitol Police, World Bank, Pan American Health Organization, American Heart Association, and INTELSAT.

She has lectured on Sufism and Islam in forums ranging from the Parliament of World Religions, United Nations Conference on Human Rights, to Georgetown University, the Goethe Institute, and the Cincinnati Museum of Art.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Shashaani spent much of her childhood in Washington, D. C. where her father was a diplomat.

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