Omid Kordestani: Educate People About Iran

Twitter, Google Executive on U.S.-Iran History

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | April 27, 2008                         
[Updated October 14, 2015]

Iranian American billionaire Omid Kordestani Another Iranian-American success story is Bay Area tech billionaire Omid Kordestani, who was announced today (Oct. 14, 2015) as the new Executive Chairman of Twitter.

Kordestani, formerly Google’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, was born in Tehran in 1963. An electrical engineering major, Kordestani joined Google as its 11th employee in 1999, and is credited with helping generate billions of dollars in revenue for the company.

In 2006 Kordestani was named by TIME magazine as one of the "100 People Who Shape Our World", and in Sept. 2007, Forbes ranked him #204 in its Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

Like most Iranian Americans living in the U.S. after the revolution, Kordestani experienced prejudice while growing up in California, and is clearly cognizant of the cultural misunderstanding which prevails even today. “After 9/11, the whole region was painted with the same brush,” Kordestani told Bob Cooper of the San Francisco Chronicle in July 2007. “Americans need to understand that Iran is not an Arabic country and Iran is not Iraq.”

Kordestani, who is one of the founders of PARSA Community Foundation, a Persian heritage, entrepreneurship and philanthropic society, also emphasizes the need to enlighten others about the history of U.S.-Iran relations, as in this excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle piece:

Kordestani, 43, knows his success is as much a product of luck as diligence. The family left Iran the year before Khomeini seized power, so instead of theocrats, he had to deal only with the taunts of a few lunkheads at his San Jose school during the Iran hostage crisis. “Iranian kids at other schools got in fights, but I dealt with it by trying to educate them. I told them,

Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) ‘Did you know the Iranian government [before the Shah] was overthrown by the CIA?’ ”

ORIGINAL SIN: The 1953 Coup in Iran Clarified | by Arash Norouzi
ORIGINAL SIN: The 1953 Coup in Iran Clarified | by Arash Norouzi


Related links:

U.S. Falling In ‘Quicksand’ With Shah, the Iranian Student Association says — SJSU (1976)

TV Host Anthony Bourdain Left Certain “Parts Unknown” in Iran

Actor / Director Ben Affleck on Mossadegh, the Shah, and U.S. - Iran Relations

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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