Human Rights Activist Shirin Ebadi to Speak at NAFSA 2017 International Education Conference in Los Angeles




Rebecca Morgan,, 202.737.3699 x4449

WASHINGTON, December 9, 2016 - Human rights activist and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi will speak at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2017 Annual Conference and Expo in Los Angeles. In 2003, Dr. Ebadi became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in promoting human rights, particularly for women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. One of the first female judges in Iran, Dr. Ebadi also was the first woman to serve in the role of Chief Justice.

After being forced out of the judiciary as a result of the 1979 revolution, Dr. Ebadi later became an attorney in private practice defending the rights of political dissidents. Her work has led to her arrest and imprisonment and she has received death threats several times. Despite now living in exile, Dr. Ebadi remains committed to her mission of speaking out against human rights abuses and advocating for legal reforms in her country.

Dr. Ebadi is the founder of several organizations including the Defenders of Human Rights Center, is co-founder of the Nobel Women's Initiative, and is one of the founding members of the Million Signatures Campaign, a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law.

She frequently lectures at universities across the world and is the author of 13 books including her memoir Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country and the recently published Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran. Dr. Ebadi earned her Masters, J.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tehran.

"International educators are committed to furthering human rights around the world," said Marlene M. Johnson, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. "Dr. Ebadi's expertise and stories of legal and political struggles will offer an inspiring perspective for the complex world in which NAFSA members, and the students and scholars they serve, are working to improve."

Shirin Ebadi will address the NAFSA conference on Thursday, June 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. This plenary session featuring Dr. Ebadi is sponsored by Loyola Marymount University. Learn more about the speakers as they are announced at