February 12, 2019

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Experts Available to Discuss U.S.-Led Warsaw Summit on Iran


Contact: Mana Mostatabi – 202.386.6319, [email protected] 
Jamal Abdi, President – 202.386.6408, [email protected]
Ryan Costello, Policy Director – 202.386.6319, [email protected]  
Dr. Assal Rad, Policy Analyst – 949.294.6652, [email protected] 
Sina Toossi, Research Associate – 217.552.3950, [email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Experts from the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) will be available to media to offer analysis of the joint U.S.-Poland summit, billed as a conference focused on Iran as well as broader peace and security issues in the Middle East.

The U.S.-proposed Warsaw Summit was initially conceived of as an arena for pressuring Iran. However, the U.S. broadened the scope of the meeting to encompass all of the Middle East after European allies raised concerns over the intention of the summit, and after it became clear that an Iran-focused conference would only serve to highlight the growing rift between the U.S. and Western Europe.

The Warsaw Summit will take place on February 13-14, 2019.

NIAC analysts available in Washington, DC and Southern California:

Jamal Abdi is President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action. He leads NIAC’s advocacy and education on civil rights and immigration issues, as well as diplomacy with Iran. He formerly served as Policy Advisor on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense issues in the U.S. Congress. Abdi has written for The New York Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and blogs at The Huffington Post.  He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on Al Jazeera, NPR, and BBC News. Follow Jamal on Twitter: @jabdi

Ryan Costello joined NIAC in April 2013 as a Policy Fellow and now serves as Policy Director. In this role, Ryan monitors legislation, conducts research and writing, and coordinates advocacy efforts on civil rights and U.S.-Iran policy. Ryan previously served as a Program Associate at the Connect U.S. Fund, where he focused on nuclear non-proliferation policy. He has published in American Foreign Policy Interests, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, CNN GPS, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Huffington Post and Roll Call. Ryan graduated from American University’s School of International Service with a Master of Arts in U.S. Foreign Policy, and from Ursinus College where he majored in history and international relations. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RN_Costello

Mana Mostatabi joined NIAC in January 2019 as Communications Director. Over the last decade, Mana has worked in policy and communications roles at a number of organizations focused on everything from human rights in the Middle East to nuclear non-proliferation policy as related to Iran. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2017 with a Masters of Science in Foreign Service, with a concentration in Global Politics and Security. Mana also served as the Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She earned a Bachelors of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Literature and Professional Editing & Writing. Follow Mana on Twitter: @mostlymana

Dr. Assal Rad graduated with a PhD in Middle Eastern History from the University of California, Irvine in 2018. Her PhD research focused on Modern Iran, with an emphasis on national identity formation and identity in post-revolutionary Iran. Assal works with the policy team on research and writing related to Iran policy issues and U.S.-Iran relations. Assal joined the National Iranian American Council as a Policy Analyst and Regional Organizer for the Western U.S. in January 2019. After working with NIAC in California as a volunteer on election and voting campaigns in 2018, Assal joined the team in order to further this work and embolden the voices of Iranian Americans. In this role, Assal works to organize Iranian Americans around issues that affect the community. Follow Assal on Twitter: @AssalRad

Sina Toossi joined the National Iranian American Council as a Research Associate in July 2018. Sina conducts research and writing on U.S.-Iran relations, Iranian politics, and Middle East policy issues. Previously, he was a research specialist at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he focused on nuclear and security policy issues related to the Middle East. Sina has been published in Newsweek, The National Interest, The Huffington Post, The Washington Quarterly, and more. He holds an MA in international affairs from American University’s School of International Service. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he double majored in economics and political science. Follow Sina on Twitter: @SinaToossi

Recent NIAC publications and media appearances:

About NIAC
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. NIAC’s mission is focused on promoting an active and engaged Iranian-American community, supporting aspirations for human rights and democracy in Iran, opposing war between the US and Iran, and celebrating our community’s deep cultural heritage. NIAC accomplishes its mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by policymakers.

For more information, please visit www.niacouncil.org.

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