ABOUT PASFARDA

PROMOTING PEACE THROUGH DIALOGUE

Introduction

Pasfarda Arts & Cultural Exchange was founded in Chicago in the summer of 2007 by a group of like-minded individuals who strongly believe that through dialogue and artistic exchange, cultural misunderstanding can be subsided.Pasfarda literally meaning the day after tomorrow, is at least a Double Entendre on Iranian culture’s orientation toward future as well its propensity for procrastination.

Mission Statement

Vision: Pasfarda Arts & Cultural Exchange effectively strengthens cultural understanding between Iranians and Americans to create innovative alliances, coalitions and affiliations.

Mission: Through committed vision and leadership, Pasfarda pledges to provide:

  • Access – We open doors for Iranian artists and intellectuals in the U.S. through the use of exhibitions, screenings, performances and other special events.
  • Outreach – We create and strengthen alliances and/or coalitions with like minded individuals and groups of all stripes to disseminate artistic expression regardless of political borders.
  • Cultural Bridging – We strongly view dialog, education and artistic exchange as a means of eroding prejudice and promoting peace in our shared world.

Board Of Directors & Officers

AVISHEH MOHSENIN

Avisheh Mohsenin
President
Avisheh Mohsenin holds an M.S. in Applied Economics and has almost two decades of experience in economic and litigation consulting at Compass Lexecon, a leading economic consulting firm. At Compass Lexecon, she specializes in valuation, damages and corporate finance issues and has participated in complex studies of a wide range of industries.

Avisheh Mohsenin is a board member of Houston Arts Foundation, an organization in charge of the maintenance of iconic works of art in the city of Houston. She is an internationally exhibited visual artist and the co-director of “Someplace Else” (2008, 70 Min, USA, Color), a documentary film on a Chicago blues artist available on Amazon Prime.

She was born in France, grew up in Iran and moved to the U.S. for graduate school. She lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. Avisheh is fluent in Persian and French.

Shermin Kruse

Shermin Kruse
Secretary
Shermin Kruse is an idea curator, global change-maker, complex-system negotiator, and storyteller.

Shermin has nearly two decades of experience working in strategic development, advocacy, brand protection, and dispute resolution for international and Fortune 500 Companies, as well as a decade of parallel experience producing thought-leadership events, including TEDx conferences and a network of salon series. In addition, Shermin is the developer of the innovative Triptych Leadership model, and a professor at Cross-Border Transactions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She is the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel “Butterfly Stitching,” a contributing author for a variety of publications and journals, and is frequently the subject of news and magazine articles. Her TEDx talk, “How to Change the World,” received prominent media attention. 

Recently, Shermin was named as the 2018 Woman Extraordinaire by the International Women Associates, featured by WomanScape Magazine for her global humanitarian work, and named one of the nation’s top 100 “Women to Watch” by BizWomen Magazine, one of Chicago’s most influential women by Chicago Business Journal, and one of Chicago’s Women of Inspiration by Today’s Chicago Magazine.

Dedicated to her local and global community, Shermin is a founding member of the Chicago Council for the American Writers Museum, a director of the international refugee center RefuSHE, and a director of the ACLU of Illinois. 

Shermin lives in Chicago with her husband and their 4 children and is currently working on her second book.

Ghazal Banisadr

Ghazal Banisadr
Treasurer

Ghazal Banisadr holds a PhD degree in Neuroscience from ParisXI University in France and has years of experience in medical research. Ms. Banisadr is a Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and a medical director at a premier pharmaceutical company.

Ghazal is a member of the Iranian Neuroscientists Association and several other non-profit scientific organizations such as The American Society for Neuroscience and National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since she left Iran, she has been actively involved in the Persian community and many cultural and social events.

She was born in Germany and grew up in Iran before she moved to France to attend graduate school. She has been living in Chicago since 2004 and is fluent in Persian, French and German.

Kai-Duc Luong

Kai-Duc Luong

Kai-Duc Luong is a filmmaker/producer, owner of the award-winning video & imaging company KDL Productions LLC.

Born in Cambodia during the oppressive Khmer Rouge regime, Kai-Duc studied engineering in Paris and received his MSEE from IIT in Chicago, then worked for a Fortune 500 telecom company as a systems architect, before pursuing his artistic career full-time in 2008. Since then, Kai-Duc has created dozens of personal artistic works exhibited at film festivals, museums and galleries around the world as well as produced hundreds of video works for commercial, corporate, editorial, non-for-profits and private clients.

In addition to Pasfarda, Kai-Duc is a member of the Chicago International Film Festival’s Education Advisory Committee.

Kai-Duc is currently directing/producing a feature film inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy slated to be released in 2021.

Kaveh Adel

Kaveh Adel
Kaveh N. Adel holds a doctorate degree in Dentistry from University of Iowa, majoring in Biochemistry & Studio Art. He has a private practice in Naperville and holds professional memberships in the ADA, ISDS and CDS.

Born & raised in Iran, he is fluent in Persian and in 1987 he immigrated to the U.S. His passion for current events & cross cultural dialogue inspired him to draw cartoons about Human rights, world & domestic politics, Environment, pop culture where he has a special connection with Norway. He is an associate member of American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. As a children’s book author/ illustrator he holds readings at Local Indie Bookstores & presents at schools to young children.

Also, as a life & personal development coach, he advises clients ranging from creative(artists) to Entrepreneurs inspiring, empowering & designing specific actionable systems to help them in reach their specifically defined goals.

He is, at heart, a human being with a love for Art as a vehicle to bring understanding and humanity between cultures and is involved in creative philanthropic activities spanning Human rights, Developmental Disabilities to Health related charities.

Narimon Safavi

Narimon Safavi
Narimon Safavi is a Chicago based Iranian-American entrepreneur who is also a contributor and analyst for the radio program Worldview on WBEZ (Chicago Public Media). Born in Tehran to an Azari-Iranian family, he studied Chemistry & Philosophy at the Illinois State University and is now serving on the Human Rights Watch – Chicago Committee and as an ambassador of the DC based National Iranian-American Council (NIAC, the largest grass roots advocacy organization of Iranian-Americans).

Previously, Narimon has been involved in creating ethical diamond mining projects/business models in several West African countries and has served on the boards or councils of the Gene Siskel Film Center, Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, the DC based Citizens for Global Solutions, a lead NGO for the formation of the International Human Rights Court in Hague, Netherland ; as well as Chicago Public Media.

He regularly appears on Persian, Spanish and English language programs affiliated with media outlets such as NPR, PBS, BBC and Telecinco. His public speaking engagements have covered topics ranging from Iran, to private sector social responsibility and philanthropy, to art and film criticism and cultural policy. His essay on Iran, a contribution to the anthology called “What’s Next?” edited by the economist David Hale was published as a book by Yale University on May 2011.

He is fluent in Persian and English and proficient in the Turkish and Spanish languages. His latest project, COSMOPOLIS will be an incubator for cultural entrepreneurship and institution building projects that create global linkages, with a probable launch in 2013. In his spare time, among other hobbies, he loves to divulge into culinary endeavors. He is the Global Cooking Smackdown Champion of WBEZ with his recipe of Ghormeh Sabzi, borrowed from the tenth century Persian / Moslem renaissance man, Avicenna (Ibn e Sina).

Board of Directors

Avisheh Mohsenin
Shermin Kruse
Ghazal Banisadr
Kai-Duc Luong
Tom Numbere
Narimon Safavi
Kaveh Adel

Founding Members

Nasrin Azim, DDS
Parissa Behnia
Cyrus Gerami
Kamran Heydarpour, MD
Kourosh Ilami
Lisa Johnson

Farzad Khaledan
Shermin Kruse
Kiyarash Mohajer, MD
Avisheh Mohsenin
Yasaman Mohsenin

Sudabeh Rafieian, DDS
Narimon Safavi
Farzad Shahsavarani
Mitra Sushinsky
Nima Taradji

Partners

Kaveh Ehsani | Research scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a member of the editorial boards of Middle East Report and the Tehran-based Goft-o-gu (Dialogue).

Lyric Hughes Hale | Author and an expert on China.

Norma Moruzzi | Associate Professor, Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Illinois, Chicago

Hamid Naficy | Professor at Northwestern University, Department of Radio/Television/Film

Ahmad Sadri | Professor of Sociology, and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College

Barbara Scharres | Director of Programming of the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL

Parissa Behnia | Founder of 678 Partners and strategic marketing expert , Chicago, IL

Franklin Lewis | Professor at University of Chicago