Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis
President & Chief Executive Officer
American Middle East Institute
Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis is President, CEO, and Founder of the American Middle East Institute (AMEI), a national, non-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which she launched in 2008. AMEI is dedicated to promoting business, educational and cultural ties between the United States and the countries of the Middle East, and has hosted many high-level delegations in Pittsburgh and led many missions to the Middle East. AMEI’s annual business conferences have attracted luminaries and royalty from the Middle East and have featured such well-known figures as General Colin Powell, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Secretary Madeleine Albright and many others.
A graduate of Harvard University, Simin served for many years as Vice President of Greycourt & Co., Inc., an investment advisory firm she helped her husband Greg Curtis found. Although Simin was born in the United States, her father is Iranian and her mother is first generation Czech. She lived in Tehran for three years as a girl and attended the Community School of Tehran. Simin performed as a concert pianist in her youth and while at Harvard she founded the University’s first coed a capella singing group, “The Opportunes,” which has performed all over the world and recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.
Active in many civic and business organizations, Simin is Honorary Consul of the Sultanate of Oman and is a 2013 Honoree of the Women & Girls Foundation for “Women Having a Global Impact.” Currently, she is working to take the world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Tehran in late 2014 for a breakthrough 50th Anniversary Concert.