Bita Daryabari

Bita Daryabari embodies the spirit of humanist philanthropy. She received her Master’s degree at Golden Gate University in California, where she was awarded Alumni of the Year in 2008. Upon graduation, she joined GammmaLink, Inc., one of the early pioneers in the field of telecommunications. She later moved to MCI Communications where, more than once, she received distinguished awards and recognition for her work. On a personal level, Ms. Daryabari has had a long-standing passion for increasing knowledge of her native Iranian culture, as well as improving the lives of people from Iran and beyond.

Her work in her field of expertise has always been accompanied by her interest in the world of ideas and literature; particularly, the poetry and prose of her native Iran. In 2008, she created the Bita Daryabari Endowment in Persian Letters at Stanford University, enabling the university to not only hire visiting and full-time professors of Persian literature, but also providing the necessary funds for the Iranian Studies Program to organize conferences, teach more courses in Persian language for all levels of proficiency, and offer the annual Bita Award in Persian Letters.

Her charitable work, primarily focused through the Unique Zan Foundation, is not limited to Iran and its literature, or Asia and its women. Ms. Daryabari is working with a number of charitable organizations, including The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), founded by Sakeena Yacoobi, an internationally known women’s human rights activist. Their latest collaboration includes the building of an all-girls school in Kabul. In her next project, Ms. Daryabari is enabling the training of Afghan women by providing micro-financing through organizations such as AIL and Creating Hope International. In 2008, Ms. Daryabari joined forces with Relief International and the Skoll Foundation, to build a women’s center in West Bank Palestinian Territory. Other philanthropic endeavors include: a recent donation to the British Museum and Iran Heritage Foundation for the Shah Abbas Exhibition; funding Iranian Artists through Venice Biennale to display their work for the first time after 30 years of solitude in 2009; and contributions to the UCSF Mission Bay Neuroscience Research Building, which will open in 2011. Ms. Daryabari also serves as a Vision Circle Member of the XPRIZE Foundation.