Our Story

Yara Leadership Society is the vision of its founding directors. They, independently of each other, had been exploring the creation of a women’s leadership-focused organization dedicated to advancing the Iranian-Canadian community. They joined forces in January 2018 to establish Yara, which in Persian means the one who gives a supportive hand to others.

Yara identifies Iranian-Canadian success stories and celebrates and champions the individuals shaping them. Many of these individuals happen to be women.


Yara strives to:

S showcase leaders of Iranian heritage who will be a source of pride and inspiration to the next generation of Iranian Canadian women and provide leadership guidance.

H highlight the contribution of the Iranian-Canadian community nationally and globally.

E establish a network and act as a forum where these leaders and aspiring leaders connect.

Yara accomplishes this through conferences, networking events, and virtual discussions. It engages both women and men in the pursuit of its vision: lead together, strong together.

Our Team

Yara Leadership Society has been initiated by a team of professional Iranian-Canadians passionate for equal rights and equal opportunities.

Board Members

    Parna Sabet-Stephenson

    Parna Sabet-Stephenson is an advocate for women’s advancement, and has led (more…)

        Atoosa Mahdavian

        Atoosa Mahdavian is a commercial litigation lawyer with more (more…)

            Shahram Tabe-Mohammadi

            Shahram Tabe-Mohammadi is an environmental scientist working with (more…)

              Advisory Board

                Leila Rafi

                Leila Rafi is a partner in the Capital Markets and M&A Group of McMillan LLP (more…)

                    Reza Moridi

                    Dr. Reza Moridi served as Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science (more…)

                        Roxana Tavana

                        Roxana is a Partner responsible for leading our growth in the Toronto market (more…)

                            Saeideh Fard

                            Saeideh began her career as a Chartered Accountant at PWC. She holds both (more…)

                                Maryam Ghiai

                                Maryam is a senior executive with international experience in a diverse (more…)

                                    Payam Akhavan

                                    Payam Akhavan is an international lawyer and professor at McGill University (more…)

                                        Mariam Khosravani

                                        Mariam Khosravani is the Founder of the Iranian American Women Foundation (more…)

                                          Yara Leadership Team

                                            Arezoo Irannejad

                                            Arezoo is a Senior IT Consultant at Capgemini Consulting firm (more…)

                                                Ghazal Dehghany

                                                Ghazal Dehghany holds a Master degree in Architecture from Carleton University, (more…)

                                                    Nazanin Mirzadeh

                                                    Nazanin is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women, youth (more…)

                                                        Nelia Fadavi

                                                        Nelia graduated from Havergal College in Toronto with distinction in 2019. (more…)

                                                            Niki Khatami

                                                            Niki Khatami is legal counsel in the investments legal team at Sun Life Financial. (more…)

                                                                Sheri Sadeghian

                                                                Sheri is an articling student at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Prior to joining Cassels, (more…)

                                                                    Shima Heidari

                                                                    Shima Heidari is a lawyer and was the recipient of the Rising Star Award (more…)

                                                                        Yasna Beheshti

                                                                        Yasna is a lawyer specializing in insurance defence litigation. (more…)

                                                                          Sign up to stay connected to the issues that matter to you.

                                                                          STAY CONNECTED