About Us

This foundation was launched in April 2013 in the memory of late Siamak Pourzand, an Iranian journalist and a former prisoner of conscience in Iran who took his own life under house arrest in 2011.

The Siamak Pourzand Foundation (SPF) promotes freedom of expression for artists, writers, journalists and creative minds in contexts where the censorship apparatus is hard at work. Further, it aims to provide a collaborative platform for creative minds struggling against censorship and repression.

An independent organization, with 501(c) (3) status and no political affiliation, SPF operates as a non-governmental and not-for-profit entity.

The Siamak Pourzand Foundation (SPF) aims to:

  • Provide a collaborative space for education, knowledge-sharing and dialogue about the concept and practices of freedom of expression
  • Promote freedom of expression, rule of law, civil and human rights
  • Defend the rights of creative professionals and amateurs in their struggles against censorship

The launch of SPF and its first project, “Shiva: Struggles against Censorship in Iran”, are made possible with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.


Azadeh Pourzand

Co-Founder & Executive Director: A graduate of Oberlin College, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Azadeh’s work and writings primarily focus on foreign policy and international development in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

Gleb Zhukov

Co-Founder & Technical and Financial Advisor: A graduate of Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Gleb is a research and consulting professional with international work experience. An electronic music DJ, Gleb has advanced IT skills and occasionally writes about various geopolitical affairs.

Mehrangiz Kar

Senior Technical Advisor - Rule of Law: An internationally recognized lawyer, writer, and women’s rights advocate, Kar is the widow of late Siamak Pourzand. A former political prisoner in Iran, Kar has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Brown University, Brooking Institution and National Endowment for Democracy, among others.

Ebrahim Mehtari

Senior Technical Advisor - Media Productions: A journalist, photographer and filmmaker, Ebrahim previously served as director of productuctions for two TV channels in Afghanistan. Having directed a number of documentaries and tens of TV programs, his work is photography has also been featured in many exhibitions.

Do you want to join our team?

Or maybe simply get in touch?
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  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014