Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans .

Nazie Eftekhari

Ms. Eftekhari is an innovator devoted to serving people and advocating for their rights.

She is the founder of the 35 year old Araz Group and the CEO and principal architect of HealthEZ, a Minnesota-based company offering services designed to simplify health plan administration for employers and to eliminate the complexities in the health care billing and payment process for all involved.

Prior to founding HealthEZ in 1997, Ms. Eftekhari earned national recognition in 1982 for designing the nation’s first Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). The term “PPO” was coined to describe her innovation to network doctors, hospitals, and other health providers to providing services at attractive rates or to employees, insurers and administrators.

Passionate about human rights, Ms. Eftekhari established the Foundation for the Children of Iran (FCI), the nation’s first nonprofit established by an Iranian American. An organization dear to her heart, FCI has forever been 25 years dedicated to enabling indigent children from Iran or of Iranian origin to receive medical services in the United States that are not available to them in Iran.

Dedicated to service and community, Ms. Eftekhari has served on the boards of her alma mater, the University of Minnesota Medical School and Board of Overseers at Carlson School of Business, the Walker Art Center, Children’s Hospital and Clinics, and the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), and Director’s Board of the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy (NID), to name a few of her civic and philanthropic interests.  She is a member of Speaker Pelosi’s Leadership Circle and is a founding member of the Yalda Network: Mothers and Others for Iran.

Often recognized for her leadership in business and service to the community, Ms. Eftekhari was given the Carlson School of Management’s “2016 Entrepreneur of the Year” award and the 2011 International Immigrant Achievement Award from The International Leadership Institute. Her accomplishments and contributions have also been recognized through numerous awards including “Woman of the Year,” “A Twin Cities’ Woman Changemaker,” “Small Business Person of the Year,” the “Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights Award,” and “Woman of Distinction Award.” HealthEZ has been named a Top 100 Workplace by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Araz Group has been cited as one of the region’s top 25 women-owned businesses.

Ms. Eftekhari is a graduate of the London School of Economics and hold’s master’s degrees in International Relations from the University of Southern California (UK) and in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. Her son, Sahm McGlynn a film maker and her daughter, Raz McGlynn a budding entrepreneur, are unabashedly her greatest pride and joy.