15 Facts About Azita Raji


Azita Raji was an Iranian-born American diplomat, banker, and philanthropist.


Azita Raji was nominated by President Barack Obama in October 2014 to serve as the United States ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in February 2016.


Azita Raji presented her credentials to King Carl XVI Gustaf on March 15,2016, and completed her tour of duty on January 20,2017.


Ambassador Raji was nominated for the State Department's highest award for a non-career ambassador, the Sue M Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service.


Azita Raji was the first female United States ambassador to Sweden, as well as the first Iranian-born American to serve as an ambassador of the United States.


Azita Raji earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1983 in architecture and French from Barnard College, Columbia University, followed by a Master of Business Administration in 1991 in Finance from Columbia Business School.


Azita Raji was a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, an elite organization which supports international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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Azita Raji was a national advisory board member of the Democratic National Committee and a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee from 2008 to 2012.


In 2013, President Obama appointed Azita Raji to serve as a Commissioner on The President's Commission on White House Fellows.


On July 4,2016, Azita Raji was recognized as an honoree of Great Immigrants: The Pride of America, the Carnegie Corporation of New York's annual recognition of inspiring naturalized US citizens who have made notable contributions to the progress of American society.


On December 10,2016, as the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji read Bob Dylan's letter to the Nobel Committee on his behalf during the Nobel banquet in Stockholm, in recognition of Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.


Azita Raji was an honoree of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Recipient of Barnard College's Joan Rivers Trailblazer Award 2020.


Azita Raji lived and worked in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and the Far East and was fluent in several languages, including Persian and French.


Azita Raji was married to Gary Syman, a former partner of Goldman Sachs.


Azita Raji died on February 6,2022, after a short illness at the age of 60.