Nina Ansary '89 P'19 Appointed UN Women Champion for Innovation

alumnae UN Women announced today that writer, humanitarian, and member of the Barnard Board of Trustees Nina Ansary ’89 P’19 has been appointed Champion for Innovation. In this two-year position, Ansary joins the ranks of other luminary women who have fought for women’s and girls’ rights such as Academy Award–winning actress Nicole Kidman, British actress Emma Watson, and tennis superstar Sania Mirza. Current Champions for Innovation include fashion designer Rachel Roy, actors Sarah Michelle Gellar and Zoe Saldana, former NFL player Wade Davis, and inventor Joy Mangano. 

At this year’s Annual Gala, Barnard will honor Ansary with the Joan Rivers ’54 Trailblazer Award.

In 2015, the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University hosted Ansary to discuss her book Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran. Born from her doctoral thesis on the women’s movement in Iran, the book addresses stereotypical assumptions of women in Iran by highlighting the feminist movement that rose following the Islamic Revolution. Ansary chose to donate 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of the book to various charitable organizations and institutions that have empowered disadvantaged young women in Iran. 

In 2016, Ansary told Barnard Magazine, “The best part of my day is having conversations with these women in Iran” via Twitter, where she has more than 126,000 followers. 

About UN Women:UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide. 

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