Age: 56 |
Birth City: آبادان |
Joined on October 02, 2012
1. Kian, Alptekin & Flynn Conspired to Conceal That the Turkish Government Was Paying Flynn & His Company to Advance Their Interests Surrounding the Fetullah Gulen Case, Prosecutors Say
Bijan Kian, Kamil Ekim Alptekin and Michael Flynn are accused of conspiring to conceal that the Turkish government was paying for Flynn and his company, which was co-founded by Kian, to advance Turkey’s interests about Fetullah Gulen, according to federal prosecutors. Flynn is identified in court documents as “Person A” and his company, the Flynn Intel Group, is named as “Company A.”
The Justice Department said in a press release, “According to allegations in the indictment, the two men were involved in a conspiracy to covertly influence U.S. politicians and public opinion against a Turkish citizen living in the United States whose extradition had been requested by the Government of Turkey.”
Kian, while working for the Flynn Intel Group, provided services based on Flynn’s national security expertise, prosecutors say. According to the indictment, the conspiracy aimed to “delegitimize” Gulen “in the eyes of the American public and United States politicians, with the goal of obtaining his extradition, which was meeting resistance at the U.S. Department of Justice.”
Prosecutors say Kian and Alptekin sought to hide the fact the Turkish government was directing their work. “However, not only did Turkish cabinet-level officials approve the budget for the project, but Alptekin provided the Turkish officials updates on the work, and relayed their directions on the work to Rafiekian, Person A, and others at Company A,” prosecutors said.
According to the indictment, Kian and Alptekin made it seem a Dutch company owned by Alptekin was the client of Flynn and the Flynn Intel Group. Alptekin’s company paid a fee to Flynn’s company of $600,000.
“Alptekin made the payments from an account in Turkey. The indictment alleges that after Alptekin made the payments to Company A, it was to kick back 20 percent of the payments to Alptekin’s company in the Netherlands, and two such kickbacks were made,” prosecutors said.
2. He Was Born in Iran, Studied at the University of Brighton in the UK & Later at Oxford University & the Harvard University Kennedy School Of Government
Bijan Kian, whose full name is Bijan Rafiekian, was born in Iran and studied engineering in Tehran. According to his Linkedin profile, Kian then completed his master’s degree in management studies at the University of Brighton in the UK in 1979.
He later studied national and international security at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2008 and political philosophy at the University of Oxford from 2011 to 2012. Kian also completed a certificate in FINTECH and blockchain technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016.
From 2011 to 2013, Kian was a senior fellow in global public policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. According to his Linkedin profile, Kian, “Has lectured at National Defense University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, American University, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, California State University, Fullerton, California State University, Dominguez Hills and Chapman University.”
He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2009 and has been a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom, according to his Linkedin profile.
3. Kian, Who Describes Himself as an ‘Internationally Recognized Diplomat,’ Served as a Board Member of the Export-Import Bank From 2006 to 2011 & Started a Persian Cultural Nonprofit
Kian, who describes himself as an “internationally recognized diplomat for the United States,” served as a board member of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 2006 to 2011. He was first nominated by President George W. Bush. He is the highest ranking Iranian-born American to serve in the U.S. government, according to his Linkedin profile.
“At USEXIM, he served as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Member of the Credit Committee as well as a Member of the White House Business Council,” Kian said on Linkedin. “From 2006 to 2011, his portfolio included the Middle East, Central Asia, The Caucasus and Russia. A former director of Foreign Investment for California, he directed the global attraction, retention and expansion of California’s $92 billion portfolio from Europe, Asia, Africa, The Americas and The Middle East.”
Kian also served as an official in the California state government, including as an Economic Development Commissioner and Commissioner of Housing Finance. He also worked as California’s Director of Foreign Investment.
Kian has also been an advocate for regime change in his native Iran.
He founded the Flynn Intel Group with Michael Flynn in 2015 and served as its vice chairman. After President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Kian was named to his transition team as intelligence community deputy lead. According to his Linkedin profile, he “Served as Deputy Lead in directing the efforts of a volunteer group that connected with all 17 elements of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Supported providing policy input, strategic guidance and operational counsel to prepare new Directors National Intelligence, CIA and other Cabinet Secretaries for roles in the Trump administration.”
4. He & His Wife Live in California & Have 2 Daughters
Kian and his wife, Gissou Kian, live in California. They have two daughters, Christine Rafiekian and Alexandria Rafiekian. Along with his wife and others, Kian founded the Nowruz Commission, a nonprofit Persian cultural organization in 2010. He is currently the vice chairman of the nonprofit. His wife, Gissou Kian, is the president of the nonprofit.
According to the Nowruz Commission website, “With 25 years of experience at America’s largest financial institutions, Gissou is a seasoned banker and risk manager. As the first President of the Nowruz Commission, she was instrumental in coordinating the participation of eight governments as well as the Iranian American Community in the United States. She lead the efforts on the inauguration of the commission in March 2010 at the Library of Congress, together with the Ambassadors of participating countries and members of the United States Congress. Throughout her life, Gissou has been dedicated to philanthropic causes and organizations.”
5. Kian Was Released on Bond & Faces Up to 15 Years in Federal Prison if Convicted
Bijan Kian was arrested and made his first appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday, December 17. He was released on personal recognizance bond. If convicted of the charges against him, Kian faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
Kian and his attorneys have not commented about his arrest.
American Physical Society's 2018 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics Recipient
Shabnam Raayai Ardakani
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"For experimental and theoretical contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which microtextured riblet surfaces can reduce (or increase) the viscous frictional drag experienced in high Reynolds number laminar boundary layer flows, and Taylor Couette flows."
Shabnam Raayai-Ardakani received her B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2011. She received her S.M. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT under the supervision of professor Mary Boyce working on mechanics of graded wrinkling. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT under the supervision of professor Gareth McKinley. In her Ph.D., inspired by the ribs on denticles of shark skin she studied the method of geometry mediated drag reduction using riblet and wrinkled textured surfaces. She is currently a post-doctoral associate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT where she is working on developing a volume-controlled cavity expansion technique inspired by Cavitation Rheology for probing the mechanical properties of soft, and biological materials. Dr. Raayai-Ardakani has accepted a fellowship at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University and will join the institute in summer 2019 as a principal investigator. She has been a member of the American Physical Society since 2012 and a member of the Society of Engineering Sciences since 2013.
2018 Selection Committee Members: Mark Stremler (Chair), Arezoo Ardekani (Vice Chair), Pascale Garaud Carlos Hidrovo, Nick Ouellette, Alain Pumir, Mingjun Wei
CBC: Hayley Lapalme still can't wrap her head around why her friend Niloufar Bayani is behind bars in an Iranian prison.
It's been a year since the former resident of Montreal and Toronto was arrested and accused of espionage.
"To learn this person, who had a wonderful presence in our community here [in Toronto], is now in a prison cell — it's stunning, really," Lapalme told As It Happens host Carol Off.
Bayani is a former McGill biology student who graduated in 2009. She later worked for the United Nations Environment Programme. She was living in Toronto when she met Lapalme.
She had returned to Iran to do environmental work, when she was arrested in January and accused of espionage.
She has been behind bars in Evin prison outside Tehran ever since.
Nearly a year since her arrest, Lapalme wants more people to know who Bayani is — and to fight for her release.
"Niloufar is this person who has this lightness, goodness, intelligence and generosity about her that is really contagious," Lapalme said.
"She really brings out the best in people."
As It Happens reached out to McGill University for comment, but did not receive a response. University spokesperson Chris Chapello told the Montreal Gazette that McGill is "aware of the situation and has been in contact with the Canadian authorities."
Researching Iran's endangered cheetahs
Bayani was always passionate about doing environmental field work anywhere in the world, Lapalme said.
She studied zebra mussels in Montreal and researched marine life in Beliz, she said.
Lapalme said her friend moved back to Iran to do field work with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
That's when the trouble started.
At the time of her arrest, Lapalme said Bayani was setting up camera traps to track Asiatic cheetahs, an endangered species in Iran.
But to Iranian authorities, the act amounted to spying.
Bayani was charged with "sowing corruption on Earth," for which she could face the death penalty. She has not yet had a trial.
"For the kind of work that we can practice freely and that is appreciated here, it's work that's being criminalized now in Iran," Lapalme said >>>
L'Officiel: The liminal space between fact and fiction can be a challenging space for actors to navigate, but Nazanin Boniadi and the cast of Hotel Mumbai manage quite well. Presented with the task of dramatizing on screen the very real story of the 2008 terrorist attack on the lavish Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India, Boniadi admitted to experiencing a “gut-wrenching feeling” when she imagines how the victims might react when they see the movie. “It can be very difficult for those who were there or who had loved ones there, like any horrific experience, or mass shooting, or any kind of terror attack,” she continues. “That's what we really have to be mindful of.”
For her part, the Tehran-born actress plays a wealthy British-Iranian Muslim woman on holiday with her all-American husband (the all-American-est Armie Hammer) and their newborn baby when a group of gunmen from terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba storm the hotel. From that point forward, both the privileged hotel guests and local staff have to come together: “[This film] really is about the resilience of the human spirit, and in situations like that, bullets don't discriminate,” says Boniadi. “It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, what religion, what ethnicity, what nationality—you're all in it together.”
As a former spokesperson for Amnesty International and a current board member at the Center for Human Rights in her native Iran, Boniadi’s take on the film is consistent with her personal modus operandi of finding projects that “raise hope, or inspire, or inform in some way.”