Champion of Change: Azadeh Khalili

Azadeh Khalili is a mother, activist, human rights advocate, and leading figure in promoting progressive social change and feminism. Azadeh first became involved in human rights after moving from Iran to New York City as a student. As a woman of color, she advocates for a worldview that treasures every human being, and for a perspective that believes in the goodness, smarts, and creativity of all humans. She believes that oppression had a start date and it will have an end date. 

Her unwavering vision for a world without oppression and her passion for social change and liberation motivated her to study Feminism and Political Economy at the New School for Social Research and to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University. She has become a leader of social reform through her extensive professional work in human rights NGOs and at senior levels of New York City government. 

As the Founding Executive Director of New York City's Commission on Gender Equity, Azadeh played a key role in promoting policies and laws that supported women's economic empowerment, elimination of violence against women, and access to health care and reproductive rights. Azadeh serves on the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY. 

Partnering with UN Women and other international organizations, Azadeh seeks to create a global sisterhood where women are no longer divided based on class, color, sexual orientation, or ethnicity but are empowered to collectively shape and transform international policy to promote women’s liberation.

Azadeh is one of the many inspiring people selected as part of our Champions of Change campaign, which honors individuals who have made a difference in the lives of women and girls in the Metro New York area and globally.

This advocacy video recognizes all the champions in the category of addressing violence against women.


Mary Luke