Meet Our Donors
Hamid and Christina Moghadam
Hamid and Christina Moghadam endowed the Program in Iranian Studies in 2003, enriching the Stanford curriculum and exemplifying their dedication to the pluralism of ideas.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Hamid earned a bachelor’s in engineering in 1977 and a master’s in engineering in 1978 from MIT before completing an M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (class of 1980). Co-founder of the San Francisco-based AMB Property Corporation, Hamid has been a leader within the real estate industry for more than 30 years. In 1997, he guided AMB through its initial public offering and, in 2011, through its merger with Prologis. Currently serving as Prologis’s CEO, he has also served as chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and the Real Estate Investment Trust Political Action Committee. He is a founding member of the Real Estate Roundtable, a former director of Plum Creek Timber Company, and a past trustee and member of the board’s executive committee for the Urban Land Institute.
Christina (Tina) Moghadam studied communication at Stanford (class of 1978) before receiving her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. A former trustee of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, she and Hamid remain active supporters of the museum.
In addition to sponsoring the gallery displaying the museum’s Persian collection, they helped facilitate the exhibition of the iconic Cyrus Cylinder from the British Museum in 2013. Tina helped institute the Asian Art Museum’s Norooz (Persian New Year) celebration and supported the production of a book on Persian ceramics from the museum’s collection. She also served for many years on the board of the Stanford Women’s Club of San Francisco.
At Stanford, Tina has served on the Freeman Spogli Institute Advisory Board and on the Parents’ Advisory Board. Hamid has served as a trustee of Stanford University. He also serves on the board of the Stanford Management Company, and formerly served as chairman. He has also served on the Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. Hamid and Tina’s service to the university includes hosting events at their San Francisco home and their generous support for not only Iranian Studies but also the arts, the Graduate School of Business, and the new Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, among other areas.
Born and raised in Iran, Bita received her master’s degree in California where, upon graduation, she worked in telecommunications and received distinguished awards and recognition for her work. Then and now, she has always been interested in the world of ideas and literature, particularly the poetry and prose of her native Iran. She created the Bita Daryabari Endowment in Persian Letters at Stanford, enabling the university to offer more classes in Persian language and literature. The endowment also established the annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts, the annual Bita Prize for Young Persian Artists, and the Daryabari Visiting Professorship for Persian Literature. Bita has also generously donated to a number of other universities, particularly those working on Iranian Studies.
Bita’s generosity and her multi-faceted philanthropy are founded on the idea that creativity is the only way to alleviate suffering and ennoble our minds to better comprehend the human condition. She has not only been a major sponsor of the Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts but has also launched her own community-based social service foundation: Pars Equality Center. Her charitable work, however, is not limited to Iran and its literature or Asia and its women. She was instrumental in bringing the Cyrus Cylinder Exhibition to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She has contributed generously to a wide array of causes — from building orphanages for Afghan children to funding efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In recognition of these efforts, she has received many awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2012); the United Nations Appreciation Award for Outstanding Leadership, Commitment and Support of the UN, and Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (2011); and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans Philanthropist of the Year Award (2010).
Hassan and Mahvash Milani
Born in Tehran, Iran, Hassan M. Milani earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University. After working as a design engineer for Rucker Hydraulics and Ford Motor Company, he returned to Iran, where he taught engineering at Narmak Technical College and launched Arvandan Maritime Company — a joint venture in the Persian Gulf with an American shipbuilder. Returning to the United States in 1979, he purchased Commercial Cooling five years later, building it into a leading manufacturer and designer for industrial refrigeration solutions.
Mahvash Milani serves as CFO of Commercial Cooling. Born in Babol, Iran, she moved to the U.S. upon graduation from high school, majoring in business administration at Orange Coast College. Together, she and Hassan founded the Hassan, Mahvash and Farzad Milani Charitable Trust, which provides financial assistance to uninsured children in need of medical care and to disadvantaged and minority college students. Hassan and Mahvash are dedicated philanthropists, supporting children’s causes and educational institutions nationally and internationally. Hassan’s commitment to helping others was inspired by his late mother, Zizi Joon, who used to say, “It’s not how much you give; it’s the percentage of your capability.” The charitable remainder trust that they created at Stanford benefits the Iranian Studies Program.