About the Donor

Neda Nobari

Neda Nobari

Founder and President, MOZAIK Foundation

“My mind was blown away when I learned that all six Colleges at SFSU had made a commitment to the Climate Justice Leaders Initiative with its equity-based interdisciplinary approach to cultivating leaders to solve the biggest challenge of our time. All they needed to scale was money. I was like ‘how much?’”


Iranian-American justice advocate, Neda Nobari emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1978. She earned a B.S. in Computer Science from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College. 

In 2007, after a 22-year career in the fashion industry at Bebe, Nobari founded her private foundation with a mission to promote social and environmental justice through arts and education. 

In early 2020 as a response to the global pandemic and its impact on artists, she pivoted her foundation to MOZAIK with a mission to democratize philanthropy through the exploration and modeling of new equitable practices.

As a member of the SF State Foundation’s Board of Directors, and as its current Chair, Nobari has been a consistent advocate for access to equitable public higher education.

In 2017, Nobari established the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, an innovative academic platform for the transnational exploration of Iranian identity through the lens of next-generation scholars in global diaspora communities.

Nobari was the 2017 Commencement speaker at San Francisco State University’s 116th Commencement ceremony, its 2020 Alumna of the Year, and San Francisco State University Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.


In 2023, Nobari received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of her significant impact on her community through a life of service.