Dr. Ali Djalilian


Dr. Ali Djalilian is an ophthalmologist and full professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago where he works in both clinical and academic areas. He was born in Iran and left the country at the age of 17.  He earned his medical degree in Minnesota. Throughout the years, Dr. Djalilian has advised Child Foundation’s medical support in multiple countries, especially Afghanistan where around 200 children receive regular care for a deadly blood disorder called Thalassemia. He is always at work investing in our sponsored children’s wholistic wellbeing through research and program development. 

Ms. Farideh Bakhtiari

Legal, Ethics and Compliance 

Ms. Bakhtiari graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Her professional experience has included programming, product verification, design, system architecture and projects, products, resources, and budget management. My Engineering career started at Canadian Electronics & Aviation (CAE) as a programmer followed by working at Ericsson Mobility for 4 years as software designer. Moving to Seattle in 1996, I started working at AT&T Wireless in progression from a platform manager to the senior lead engineer responsible for architecture, design, and implementation of Mobility Network Management Solutions. I strive for building professional and personal relationships based on trust, collaboration, and problem-solving through team work.

Mr. Gary Gamer

President & CEO

Gary’s career is humanitarian and child welfare based. Prior to leading Child Foundation, he served as an international consultant specializing in child protection, social services and livelihoods. He served as President and CEO at  Holt International Children’s Services, and also directed the refugee and immigration service  agency Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Additionally,  Gary coordinated peace and justice programs for the U.S. National Council of Churches of Christ  USA. Gary has worked with NGOs in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Latin America and the U.S.  Gary has a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs in New York City, and an under graduate business management degree from the University of Oregon. 

Mr. Kamyar Lashgari

Chair of the Board

Mr. Lashgari received his Bachelor in Urban Planning and Masters in Urban Design from the University of Washington and has been a professional planner and designer for the past 34 years. At the start of his career, Mr. Lashgari worked in the public sector for various cities in Washington and California as an Urban Designer and Planner. He later worked for architectural and civil engineering firms in both Southern California and Iran. While working in Iran, he specialized in urban reconstruction planning for areas affected by the war.

Ms. Kerry Ayazi


Kerry Ayazi holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law. Ms. Ayazi is currently an Executive Director with a renowned nonprofit center of excellence providing world-class healthcare, research, academic program, and innovations for cancer and other illnesses. Previously, she was General Counsel, Senior Vice-President and Compliance Officer at the Southern California affiliate system of a national nonprofit, advocating social justice, reproductive justice, healthcare access, and advanced equity and inclusion. Ms. Ayazi serves and has served on several nonprofit, charitable, and academic boards and governing bodies, and worked with several institutions advancing charitable, community, welfare, social justice, and academic engagement. Ms. Ayazi is also an avid supporter of children's welfare, animal welfare, social and health equity across spectrums, and the arts.

Ms. Manijeh Taherynia


Ms. Manijeh Taherynia is a certified public accountant with over 15 years of experience in state and local government auditing and accounting, as well as taxation in public accounting in Colorado. She received her Master’s in Accounting from the University of Colorado at Denver. Ms. Taherynia has also served on the board of other non-profit organizations. 

Mr.  Morteza Ferdowsi


Mr. Morteza Ferdowsi is presently a real estate developer and management consultant and has been involved with Child Foundation since 2018 in various volunteering capacities.  He graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach and in 2000 he completed the Executive Management Program at UCLA.  Mr. Ferdowsi’s professional career spans decades which began in 1987 in the Telecommunications industry.  In 2012, his company was acquired by a major US based networking company leading him to begin his independent endeavors.  As a leader in the community,  Mr. Ferdowsi  has served on the boards of multiple organizations and has held positions on the board of American Red Cross in Southern California.  Mr. Ferdowsi dedicates much of his time to following causes that are close to his  heart and culture.