September 7, 2012, Washington D.C. – Iranian American Vali Nasr was named one of the most powerful Democrats on U.S. foreign policy by the Foreign Policy Magazine, coming in at number 48 on the journal's list of 50.
An Iranian immigrant whose family fled to the United States in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Nasr was cited for his 2006 book The Shi'a Revival, published as sectarian warfare began to proliferate in Iraq, as well as his 2009 book Forces of Fortune, which "arguably predicted the Arab Spring" and stated that a growing middle class across the Middle East could "prompt a groundswell of opposition" to the authoritarian leadership of the region. Nasr advised Richard Holbrooke during his tenure as special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan and, as the recently appointed dean of the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, remains an influential outside advisor to the Obama administration.
Other notable figures to top the 50 most influential Democrats on foreign policy include White House national security advisor Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senator John Kerry. Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel. It changed from an academic quarterly in the 1990s to a bimonthly glossy, winning the 2009, 2007, and 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
Nasr serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and has contributed to numerous PAAIA programs including speaking at a few of the Passing the Torch of Success events, one of PAAIA's hallmark programs, which celebrates the success and accomplishments of Iranian Americans throughout the United States.