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Azita Raji

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Spouse(s)  Gary Syman
Children  5

Name  Azita Raji
Parents  Parviz C. Raji
Azita Raji irantimescomwpcontentuploads201410AzitaRaj
Occupation  investment banker, financial analyst, philanthropist

Azita raji us ambassador to sweden

Azita Raji (Persian: آزیتا راجی‎‎, born September 29, 1961) is an American diplomat, banker and philanthropist. She was nominated by President Barack Obama in October 2014 to serve as the United States ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in February 2016. She presented her credentials to His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on March 15, 2016, and completed her tour of duty on January 20, 2017.


Ambassador Raji was nominated for the State Department's highest award for a non-career ambassador, the Sue M. Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. She was the first female United States ambassador to Sweden, as well as the first Iranian-American to serve as a United States ambassador.


Born in Tehran, Iran, Raji completed her high school education in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she competed nationally as a downhill skier and chess player, before moving to the United States at the age of 17. She earned a B.A. in 1983 in architecture and French from Barnard College, Columbia University, followed by an M.B.A. in 1991 in Finance from Columbia Business School. Raji became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988.

Raji is a Chartered Financial Analyst (C.F.A.) and has been a member of the Institute for Chartered Financial Analysts since 1991. She is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, an elite organization which supports international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Earlier in her career as an international investment banker, she held senior positions at firms including J.P. Morgan, Salomon Brothers and Drexel Burnham Lambert.

By 2008, Raji had left the financial sector to focus on national politics. In 2012, she served as National Finance Vice Chair and Chair of Swing State Victory Fund for the Obama campaign. Raji was a national advisory board member of the Democratic National Committee and a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee from 2008 to 2012. In 2013, President Obama appointed Raji to serve as a Commissioner on The President's Commission on White House Fellows. In addition, Raji was appointed as a Commissioner of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Raji's philanthropic activities include numerous active leadership roles in the nonprofit sector: Trustee and member of the Executive Committee, Barnard College, Columbia University; Advisory Board, Columbia Business School Tamer Center for Social Enterprise; Founding Co-Chair, Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University; Economic Advisory Council, Center for American Progress; Director, National Partnership for Women & Families.

On July 4, 2016, Raji was recognized as an honoree of Great Immigrants: The Pride of America, the Carnegie Corporation of New York's annual recognition of inspiring naturalized U.S. citizens who have made notable contributions to the progress of American society.

On December 10, 2016, as the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Raji read Bob Dylan's letter to the Nobel Committee on his behalf during the Nobel banquet in Stockholm, in recognition of Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Raji is an honoree of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards honoring distinguished Americans.

Personal life

Currently based in Northern California, Raji has lived and worked in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and the Far East and is fluent in several languages, including Persian and French. She is married to Gary Syman, a former partner of Goldman Sachs. They have five daughters and seven grandchildren.


Azita Raji Wikipedia