ROYA HAKAKIAN is a Iranian American Jewish journalist, lecturer, and writer. Born in Iran, she came to the United States as a refugee and is now a naturalized citizen. She is the author of several books, including an acclaimed memoir in English called Journey From the Land of No, Assassins of The Turqoise Palace, and A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious.
Her opinion columns, essays and book reviews appear in English language publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR’s All Things Considered, among many others. She has collaborated on over a dozen hours of programming for leading journalism units in network television, including CBS 60 Minutes. She currently serves as an editorial board member of World Affairs. An active thinker of foreign relations, Roya is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. She has been featured in the Washington Post and the US News and World Report, among other publications. In the book, Political Awakenings by University of California at Berkeley’s Professor Harry Kreisler, she has been highlighted “among the most important activists, academics, and journalists of her generation.”Roya is the author of two collections of poetry in Persian, and is listed among the leading new voices in Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies around the world, including La Regle Du Jeu, Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature.