As a director in Raben’s Issue Campaigns and Movements practice area, Parnian Abunasr-Shiraz is committed to creating lasting change in the realm of policy. She brings experience in policy, advocacy, and strategic partnership development. Parnian’s strong research, writing, and project management skills are key in helping her clients advance their initiatives.Prior to joining Raben, Parnian served as the development and partnerships manager for GirlForward, a nonprofit dedicated to creating and enhancing opportunities for girls who have been displaced by conflict and persecution. She played an instrumental role in ensuring the organization’s charitable giving and mission-focused donor base significantly grew. Through managing an extensive portfolio, Parnian developed relationships with new and existing corporate, foundation, and individual partners to consolidate support for planned organizational initiatives. In support of the executive director, she wrote grant proposals, implemented and executed strategic development efforts, and managed fundraising events and projects. At GirlForward, she also co-launched the GirlForward Advisory Board, which allowed GirlForward girls to build leadership skills while informing the organization’s work.
Parnian previously interned with the Nothing But Nets campaign at the United Nations Foundation, where she helped raise critical funds to send life-saving insecticide-treated bed nets to families, expanded the campaign’s grassroots networks, and advocated for malaria prevention programs to members of Congress. Previously, she interned with the Outrider Foundation as a nuclear policy and nonproliferation intern and population intern to increase public understanding of existential risks that threaten humanity.
Parnian holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and a certificate in Analytics and Management from the American University School of Public Affairs. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a certificate in European Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Parnian is a first-generation American, born and raised in an Iranian household in Sweden. When not in the office, you can find Parnian wandering the DC neighborhoods, at Barry’s Bootcamp, reading, or watching corny TV shows.