Goli Ameri

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Goli Ameri
Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
In office
July 1, 2010 – July 1, 2012
Succeeded by Joelle Tanguy
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
In office
March 19, 2008 – January 20, 2009
Preceded by Dina Powell
Succeeded by Ann Stock
Personal details
Born (1956-09-26) September 26, 1956 (age 65)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian-American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jamsheed "Jim" Ameri
Residence Los Angeles, California
Education Stanford University (B.A., 1977), (M.A., 1979)
Alma mater Stanford University

Goli Ameri (in Persian: گلی عامری née Goli Yazdi, born September 26, 1956) is an American diplomat and businesswoman. She is the President and CEO of the Center for Global Engagement, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering engagement between U.S. society and the rest of the world with a view to promoting shared values and common interests and increasing mutual understanding and respect.[1] She is the former Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. She is also the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. She ran for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican in 2004, and is a former U.S. Representative to the United Nations.

Life and business career

Ameri was born in Tehran, Iran.[2] She came to the United States as a student in 1974 to attend Stanford University. There, she earned a B.A. in Communications and French Literature and, later, her M.A. in Communications. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.[2] At Stanford, she met and later married then-fellow student Jamsheed "Jim" Ameri, now a real estate investor. She became a U.S. citizen in 1989.[2] She has two sons.[3]

Ameri was founder and president of eTinium, Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.[2] She is the author of over fifty market studies and wrote a bi-monthly industry analysis column for Telephony magazine. She has been quoted in such publications as The National Business Journals, The Oregonian, The Seattle Times, The San Jose Mercury News, and Internet Week and has been invited as a speaker and moderator to industry conferences worldwide.[3] Prior to founding eTinium, Ameri was a director at U.S. Leasing, a former division of Ford Credit and Fleet Bank, in San Francisco.[2]

She served on the steering committee of the Babson in Oregon M.B.A. program, and was a member of the Oregon Steering Committee on the Campaign for Undergraduate Education for Stanford University.[2] She was a trustee and the Vice Chair for Development for the Catlin Gabel School, overseeing fundraising activities for the scholarship fund and teacher education.[3] Ameri has also taught Junior Achievement classes in Oregon. She is fluent in English, French and Persian, as well as conversant in Spanish.[2]

In October 2007, Ameri was named as one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in the Northwest" by The NW Women's Journal for her UN service and her position on the Advisory Board of the National Education for Women's Leadership program at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.[4]

Ameri received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 11, 2008.[5] The award is given annually to 100 recipients to pay tribute to the experiences and individual achievements of immigrants to the United States.

In 2012, Ameri was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the international NGO Freedom House.[6] The Carnegie Corporation of New York included Ameri in its annual list of "Immigrants: The Pride of America," which was published on July 4, 2012 in the New York Times.[7]

2004 Campaign for Congress

In 2004, Ameri handily defeated moderate, small businessman Tim Phillips and conservative, software executive Jason Meshell by a 2-1 margin each to become the Oregon Republican Party's nominee for Oregon's 1st congressional district, in a challenge to three-term incumbent Democrat David Wu.[8]

Ameri's campaign gained a great deal of attention from political insiders in Washington, D.C. because of her fast-paced fundraising skills.[9] She was dubbed one of the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Super Six" candidates.[3] She was also ranked by the Federal Elections Commission as the number-one Congressional challenger candidate in the country in total dollars raised for the 2004 primary and general elections cycles.[10]

The contest received national attention when, late in the campaign, Wu admitted that he had been disciplined for attempted sexual assault of a female classmate while he was a student at Stanford in 1976. Ameri did not focus on the issue initially, but heavily pushed it in the closing days of her campaign. Wu won the election with 58 percent of the vote; Ameri received 38 percent, and Dean Wolf, the Constitution Party candidate, received 4 percent.[11] Wu resigned from Congress in 2011 amidst allegations that he attempted to sexually assault the daughter of a campaign donor.[12]

United Nations

Goli Ameri with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In 2004, Ameri was appointed by George W. Bush as one of three public members of the United States' delegation to the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which meets annually in Geneva, Switzerland.[2]

In the summer of 2005, President Bush appointed Ameri as the head of the United States' delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, which is headquartered in New York City. There, she worked on UN Management Reform, the creation of the UN Human Rights Council and, due to her background in the field of high-technology, on the Internet Governance Portfolio. She was sworn in by then-U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton in September 2005 and served until the end of the session in December. She was confirmed retroactively by the United States Senate for this position on May 26, 2006.[13]

Ameri has also spoken at events on Middle East issues, democracy promotion and UN reform nationwide, including a testimony before the United States Helsinki Commission's Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe hearing, "The Iran Crisis: A Transatlantic Response," as well as at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, the World Affairs Council of Oregon, and the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[14][15]

In cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Ameri organized and hosted a visit by eight East Asian United Nations Ambassadors as part of a public diplomacy trip to Portland in the spring of 2007.[15]

Assistant Secretary of State

On November 15, 2007, Ameri was nominated by President Bush to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, succeeding Dina Habib Powell and presiding over the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Bureau is largely responsible for the United States government's public diplomacy efforts abroad. After a series of Senate hearings in January and February 2008, she was confirmed by the Senate for the position on March 13, 2008.[16] Ameri was sworn in for the position on March 19, 2008.[2]

Goli Ameri at the Bai Nian Vocational School in Beijing, China.

As part of her duties, Ameri has traveled to different regions of the globe to promote cross-cultural understanding. Her first trip, in May 2008, was to the Persian Gulf, where she visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to promote cultural and educational diplomacy in the region. In Dubai, Ameri met with alumni and officials of the International Visitor Leadership Program, which brings foreign participants to the United States each year to meet and confer with their professional counterparts.[17] In addition, she met with Sheikh Hahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. In Qatar, Ameri delivered remarks at Qatar University.[18]

In late May 2008, Ameri traveled to Brazil to review U.S. public diplomacy efforts and meet with local leaders. In the capital city of Brasilia, Ameri met with Brazilian Minister of Education Fernando Haddad and Minister Eliana Zugaib, acting head of the Cultural Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While there, Ameri also announced an additional $1 million investment for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Fulbright Program and signed a new Fulbright Agreement with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.[19]

In June 2008, she traveled to Azerbaijan. During her trip, she signed an agreement on behalf of the United States with Azerbaijani Minister of Education Misir Mardanov to increase the number of Azerbaijani students studying in the United States.[20] While in the capital city of Baku, Ameri also met with the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Mahmud Karimov and the leadership of the Academy's Manuscripts Institute, promising American help in preserving the country's ancient manuscripts.[21] She concluded her trip with a meeting with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, where the two stressed the importance of American-Azerbaijani relations.[22]

In July 2008, Ameri traveled to Indonesia to meet with educators, cultural experts, and alumni from U.S.-Indonesian exchange programs. While in the capital city of Jakarta, Ameri met with the Director General of Higher Education, Fasli Jalal, from the Ministry of National Education. Ameri also visited the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF) to meet with Fulbright Program alumni, board members, and staff.[23]

Goli Ameri and U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy Fran Drescher.

Ameri appointed "The Nanny" star Fran Drescher as a United States Public Diplomacy Envoy on September 8, 2008, joining Michelle Kwan and Cal Ripken, Jr. as the third celebrity appointed to this role. Drescher will support American public diplomacy efforts, including raising awareness of women's health issues, cancer awareness and patient empowerment. Drescher's first trip was to Romania, Hungary, Kosovo and Poland.[24]

Ameri traveled to China and Vietnam as part of her duties in September 2008. In China, she met officials from the Ministry of Education.[25] While in Vietnam, Ameri opened a new consultancy and information office of the U.S. Institute of International Education in Ho Chi Minh City.[26]

As part of the U.S. government's Iraqi relief efforts, Ameri traveled to Baghdad, Iraq in October 2008, where she announced her bureau's Iraq Cultural Heritage Project efforts to renovate and improve the National Museum of Iraq.[27]

Ameri's term as Assistant Secretary of State ended with the rest of the Bush Administration on January 20, 2009.

Red Cross and Red Crescent

On July 1, 2010, Ameri was appointed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy. In this position, she was tasked with increasing Red Cross and Red Crescent influence with policymakers and governments to better understand the needs of the people the organization serves worldwide.[28] She retired from this position on July 1, 2012.

The Center for Global Engagement

In 2012, Ameri founded the Center for Global Engagement (CGE), a Los Angeles-based social entrepreneurship organization established by a team of 80 public and private sector leaders. By leveraging the two most effective mediums to engage large groups of people around the world—entertainment and internet/mobile technologies—CGE aims to develop projects that increase mutual understanding and respect.[1] Ameri serves as the current President and CEO.[29]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 About the Center for Global Engagement
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Goli Ameri Sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights: Biography of Goli Ameri
  4. NW Women's Journal 100 Most Powerful Women in the Northwest
  5. NECO: The 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients
  6. FreedomHouse.org: Board Of Trustees
  7. NYTimes_4th_July_ad_2012
  8. May 18, 2004, Primary Election Abstract of Votes, Representative in Congress, 1st District
  9. IAPAC: Biography of Goli Ameri
  10. Federal Elections Commission: Top 50 House General Election Challenger Campaigns by Receipts
  11. November 2, 2004, General Election Abstract of Votes, Representative in Congress, 1st District
  12. Politico: "David Wu resigns"
  13. U.S. Senate: Friday, May 26, 2006 Daily Digest
  14. CSCE :: Hearing :: The Iran Crisis: A Transatlantic Response
  15. 15.0 15.1 NEW Leadership Oregon: Goli Ameri
  16. U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Nominations > Nominations Confirmed (Civilian)
  17. International Visitor Leadership Program Information
  18. Assistant Secretary Ameri Travels to U.A.E. and Qatar to Promote Educational Diplomacy
  19. Assistant Secretary Goli Ameri Visits South America
  20. Azerbaijan and the US sign agreement on cooperation in study of Azerbaijanis in the United States
  21. US wants to cooperate with Manuscripts Institute of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
  22. Azerbaijani President receives US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
  23. Senior US Cultural Affairs Official Visits Indonesia to Promote Exchanges
  24. Assistant Secretary of State Goli Ameri to Name Fran Drescher as Public Diplomacy Envoy
  25. Chinese education attractive to US students
  26. http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/life/250908/life_ne.htm
  27. Iraq Cultural Heritage Project
  28. Goli Ameri - IFRC
  29. CGE Founders: Goli Ameri

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Greenfield
Republican Party Nominee

Oregon's 1st Congressional District

Succeeded by
Derrick Kitts
Government offices
Preceded by
Dina Powell
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
March 19, 2008 - January 20, 2009
Succeeded by
Ann Stock