Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans

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According to their webpage, the The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (or PAAIA) "is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, national grassroots membership organization dedicated to bringing our community together to project an accurate and positive image of Iranian Americans that truly reflects our values and achievements, and to building a highly respected and influential voice for our community in the U.S. political process."[1]

The PAAIA website describes the core purpose which has guided the organization since its inception in 2007 as the "formation of a national organization dedicated to promoting the goals of community building, image building, and influence building."[2]

In outlining the governance structure of the organization, the PAAIA website states that "PAAIA's community building, image building and influence building activities are carried out and/or funded by two affiliated nonprofit organizations: PAAIA which is a 501(c)(4) organization, and PAAIA Fund which is a 501(c)(3) organization. As a social welfare organization, PAAIA engages in issue advocacy and lobbying activities, including advocacy on behalf of political candidates. Although not currently in existence, in the near future PAAIA will also create an affiliated Political Action Committee for the purpose of endorsing political candidates who are attuned to the interests and concerns of the Iranian American community, and making political contributions to them. PAAIA Fund is an educational non-profit organization that funds policy studies and a broad array of activities intended to educate Iranian Americans about the political process and issues of interest to them. PAAIA Fund also funds activities intended to educate U.S. policy makers and the American public at large about the Iranian American community.To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations, PAAIA affiliated organizations are governed by overlapping boards of directors and share employees and staff."[3]

Merger with IAPAC-Iranian American Political Action Committee

In July, 2008, it was announced the the PAAIA-The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans would merge with the IAPAC (Iranian American Political Action Committee).

In the statement released by the PAAIA regrading the merger, it was stated that "the merger will advance the best interests of the Iranian American community by greatly enhancing its effective participation in the American political process

The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) jointly announce an agreement to merge the two organizations, making IAPAC the affiliated political action committee of PAAIA. The merger of IAPAC and PAAIA represents an unprecedented milestone for the Iranian American community, demonstrating that two existing organizations can and should come together for the greater good.

The agreement to merge is in recognition of the considerable synergies between PAAIA and IAPAC, and will create a unified organization to more effectively serve the Iranian American community’s common interests in the political arena."[4]

In commenting on the merger, Hamid Biglari, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PAAIA, stated that “joining forces will sharpen our vision and harness the collective energies of two outstanding organizations. IAPAC’s mission to support and promote the election of candidates who are attuned to the domestic issues of the Iranian American community complements PAAIA’s influence building mission.”[5]

Accoring to the release, the IAPAC (established in 2002) "has been a registered non-connected bipartisan political action committee. IAPAC focuses exclusively on domestic policy issues such as civil rights and immigration, and encourages Americans of Iranian descent to actively participate in political and civic affairs. Since its inception, IAPAC has contributed to 34 candidates, including nine Iranian American candidates."[6]

Founding Trustees

Executive Team

Board of Directors

Contact Information

1350 Connecticut Av
Suite 202, NW
Washington D.C. 20036
Phone: 202.828.8370
Fax: 202.828.8371
Email General Inquiries: info AT
Email Membership/Community Relations: community AT
Email Media/Public Relations: media AT
Email Research: research AT

Articles and resources

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. About PAAIA , accessed September 10, 2009.
  2. PAAIA Our History, accessed September 10, 2009.
  3. PAAIA Governance, accessed September 10, 2009.
  4. PAAIA Press Release, July 13, 2008. Accessed September 17, 2009.
  5. PAAIA Press Release, July 13, 2008. Accessed September 17, 2009.
  6. PAAIA Press Release, July 13, 2008. Accessed September 17, 2009.
  7. PAAIA Press Release, accessed September 17, 2009.
  8. Executive Team, accessed September 10, 2009.
  9. Board of Directors, accessed September 10, 2009.

External resources

External articles