MEDIA ADVISORY: Experts Available to Discuss First Congressional Hearing on Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 23, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi, Communications Director – 202.386.6325 x103, mana@niacaction.org
Jamal Abdi, President – 202.386.6408, jamal@niacaction.org 
Ryan Costello, Policy Director – 202.386.6319, ryan@niacaction.org
Shervin Ghaffari, Policy Associate – (202) 386-6325, shervin@niacaction.org

WASHINGTON DC – Experts from the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) will be available to the media to offer commentary on the first ever Congressional hearing on the Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban. The hearing will be held by the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and will include witness testimonies from individuals impacted by the ban.

The Muslim Ban has for nearly three years succeeded in preventing persons from pre-dominantly Muslim countries from coming to the United States. Iranian nationals have been hit particularly hard by the ban. The September 24 hearing will provide Congress and the public long overdue information on and oversight over the implementation of the Muslim Ban. 

The hearing will take place on September 24, 2019 at 10:00am in 2141 RHOB (Rayburn House Office Building).

NIAC analysts available in Washington DC:

Jamal Abdi is President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action. He leads NIAC’s advocacy and education on civil rights and immigration issues, as well as diplomacy with Iran. He formerly served as a Policy Advisor on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense issues in the U.S. Congress. Abdi has written for The New York Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and blogs at The Huffington Post.  He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on Al Jazeera, NPR, and BBC News. Follow Jamal on Twitter: @jabdi

Ryan Costello joined NIAC in April 2013 as a Policy Fellow and now serves as Policy Director. In this role, Ryan monitors legislation, conducts research and writing, and coordinates advocacy efforts on civil rights and U.S.-Iran policy. Ryan previously served as a Program Associate at the Connect U.S. Fund, where he focused on nuclear non-proliferation policy. He has published in American Foreign Policy Interests, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, CNN GPS, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Huffington Post and Roll Call. Ryan graduated from American University’s School of International Service with a Master of Arts in U.S. Foreign Policy, and from Ursinus College where he majored in history and international relations. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RN_Costello

Shervin Ghaffari joined NIAC as a Policy Associate in August 2019. Shervin conducts research and writing on the Middle East, analyzes and monitors legislation, and supports advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. His expertise includes Iran, U.S. national security issues, and immigration.
He graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a concentration in Middle East Studies and International Economics. Shervin was also an organizer during the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has also spent time with the California Governor’s D.C. office and at the Council on Foreign Relations. Shervin received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Philosophy in Ethics and Government.

Recent NIAC press hits:

Jamal Abdi in The New York TimesIranian Students Set to Start at U.S. Universities Are Barred From Country – September 20, 2019
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/us/iranian-students-visas.html

Ryan Costello in The Davis EnterpriseIranian students barred from boarding U.S.-bound flights – September 19, 2019
https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/iranian-ucd-student-among-those-barred-from-entering-u-s/

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Mana Mostatabi
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