Peyvand Board Members

Shahrzad Shams, President

Shahrzad Shams is the full-time Assistant Teaching Professor in Persian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, where she anchors the Program’s courses in First- and Second-Year Persian. Trained in Applied Linguistics (M.A. California State University, Fullerton, 1985), Ms. Shams has won acclaim and gratitude from students and colleagues since joining the faculty in 2009. She has also been nominated for the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Ms. Shams is an active organizer and promoter of Persian cultural events in the community. She serves as the liaison between the University of Washington Persian & Iranian Studies and the Iranian American community. She also serves as the chair of the Iranian Film Initiative Committee which helps showcase Iranian films and film delegates every year at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Keiana. Hadjireza, Treasurer

RTL Engineer at MicroVision

Homa Hayatyfar, Secretary

Detection Analytics Lead at Microsoft | Digital Security & Resilience

Leyla Salmassi

Leyla Salmassi is a double Husky with 2 B.A.s and an M.A. from the University of Washington. She is an experienced project and program manager in higher education with a commitment to excellence, diversity, equity, and inclusion in education. She is dedicated to building strong communities and developing leaders for the next generation. Leyla is passionate about creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community on campus and beyond. As an Iranian immigrant, who has benefited from advocacy programs for all minorities, she is thrilled to be making a full circle to serve those in similar situations. She serves as the President of the UW Professional Staff Organization and as a board member at WithinReach. Leyla is an art enthusiast, social justice warrior, chef extraordinaire, a mother of two kids, and two very spoiled cats! Lelya can be reached by email at leyla_salmassi@