Dr. Mateo Farzaneh stand in the Mossadegh Servant Leaders Hall in the College of Busines and Management Building

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Northeastern Illinois University Associate Professor of History Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh has been appointed as principal of the NEIU Foundation’s Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Initiative effective June 7.

Farzaneh’s primary responsibilities will include raising the required funds to begin a new language program that will offer elementary, intermediate and advanced Persian (Farsi) at Northeastern. Farzaneh also will direct several previously established funds, including all of the Mossadegh funds, Iranian Cultural Heritage Fund and other NEIU Foundation funds related to the Persian community.

“I look forward to meeting new and old friends of Persian culture and heritage, and although they might have various political views, I am confident that what connects us is not so much the latter but the former,” Farzaneh said. “As we embark on meeting new challenges to raise funds, I am positive that friends of Iran will respond in more than one positive way and help us meet that challenge. We must remember that more than ever before Dr. Mossadegh's language, Persian, can be a tool by which we could meet current global challenges that can promote cultural understanding leading us to cooperation and friendship, as he would have wanted it. I don’t see why Northeastern can’t be a contributing factor in reaching that goal.”

A member of the Department of History faculty since 2010, Farzaneh teaches Iranian and Middle Eastern history at Northeastern and is the author of the award-winning book “The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani,” as well as several academic articles. He also is the recipient of several research and teaching excellence awards.

Northeastern Illinois University is the first academic institution to name a prominent study hall after the late Iranian premier, whose historical significance is widely known.

“I had heard Dr. Mossadegh’s name around our house since childhood, years before the 1979 Revolution, whose nationalist fervor became a symbol for that revolution,” Farzaneh said. “Now, informed more about modern Iranian history and its colorful past, carrying the title that bears his name is as rewarding as it is challenging. I hope to add to Dr. Mossadegh’s positive legacy in my own humble and limited ways and promote his servant leadership ideas to students who are interested to learn about public service values.”

By raising funds in the United States and Europe from those who believe in Mossadegh’s mission and achievements, the Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Servant Leaders Hall was dedicated in October 2013.

At the same time, the Mohammad Mossadegh Servant Leaders Fund was established. The endowment perpetuates the spirit of servant leadership by providing annual scholarships and bringing guest lecturers to Northeastern through the Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Servant Leadership Lecture Series. Past guest speakers include “The Disruptors” author Kunal Mehta and entrepreneur and philanthropist Haleh Emrani.