Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (Moderator)
From the local to international level, Fariborz has served on many committees, boards and task forces related to immigration, refugees, diversity, equal rights and the cultural arts. Fariborz was a refugee when he left his home country of Iran with his family and settled for a brief time in Lahore, Pakistan, where he began his involvement and work with refugees through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.
Fariborz resettled in Canada, where he volunteered with the Red Cross and Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS). For the past 17 years, he has been the Executive Director of CCIS and led the agency from 50 staff operating out of two locations, to now, over 240 staff and 2,000 volunteers, and overseeing approximately 70 programs from 14 locations in Southern Alberta.
Fariborz’s community involvement for the past 24 years in Canada is varied and extensive. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his lifelong commitment to diversity and equal rights and for improving immigration and refugee settlement and integration policies and practices in Alberta.