Mana Kharrazi is a nonprofit leader and educator based in New York. Mana is the Executive Director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders and a former Field Organizer at Amnesty International USA. Mana's expertise is in the Iranian diaspora, community organizing and youth leadership development. She has worked with numerous organizations and spoken at various institutions and conferences. Mana is a 2018 Ford Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project, and a 'Progressive Women's Voice' of the Women's Media Center.
Mana currently serves as the Executive Director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization dedicated to community building and youth empowerment. IAAB strengthens the Iranian diaspora community through leadership and educational programming that encourages collaboration and solidarity across various borders and multiple communities. Mana first joined IAAB in 2006 and has led the organization since 2008. Under Mana's leadership, IAAB has grown into a leading Iranian-American community organization and has been featured on CNN and CNN International, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and PBS Frontline's Tehran Bureau. IAAB and Camp Ayandeh, its celebrated high school leadership camp, were also featured in The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race, a groundbreaking work about shifting racial status in the United States. IAAB was also the organizational plaintiff in IAABvTrump, the first legal challenge to Muslim Ban 3.0 that won in the Fourth Circuit in February after succeeding in obtaining an injunction in October. Mana was also a steering committee member of the Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition (ICCC).
In 2015, following the horrific images of Alan Kurdi on the shores of Lesvos, Mana began volunteering in Greece. Mana co-developed the first comprehensive educational program for refugee youth in Greek camps. Mana helped implement educational classes for ages 4-16 years old at Elpida camp in Thessaloniki, Greece. The program became the basis for various camps and was integral to Elpida's youth transitioning to Greek school. Mana incorporated innovative youth leadership practices with practical techniques currently in use by international organizations working with refugee youth in the United States, EU and Middle East.
Prior to leading IAAB, Mana was a Field Organizer at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), leading the organization's work in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as other parts of the South. Mana served as a member of the Southern Human Rights Network's steering committee, co-organizing the Youth Summit as part of 2010's Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference. Mana assisted in organizing the 2009, 2010 and 2011 AIUSA Southern Regional Conferences, Leadership Training Institutes, State and National Conferences. Mana was a member of AIUSA's Southern Regional Office, advocating on behalf of Troy Davis, and helped coordinate actions in Savannah, Georgia during his evidentiary hearing in federal court. Mana also led numerous trainings and workshops, participated in panels at universities throughout the South, and organized events with coalition partners such as the ACLU, NAACP, and other human rights and social justice organizations.
Mana received her Bachelor of Arts from Emory University in International Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, along with a minor in Persian. While at Emory, Mana co-organized a lecture series focusing on Iran that brought together academics, artists, and community leaders from within the Iranian diaspora. Mana was a Rhoda Kaufman Scholarship recipient and a steering committee member of Center for International Living. Mana also worked at the Carter Center, Careerbuilder.com and Posse Foundation.