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API Announces New Board Members

The Assyrian Policy Institute is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members: Ishtar Saiyady and Elina Arbo. With these appointments, the API board now totals seven members, with Elina Arbo serving as the new Board Secretary.

“We’re excited to expand our board with two new members who will bring diverse expertise and insight to our work,” said Jon Koriel, API Chairman. “We have worked diligently to ensure the API’s board and leadership represents a variety of perspectives and experiences, and the newest board members are no exception. I am personally delighted to welcome Ishtar and Elina to our team, and I look forward to serving with both of them in furthering our mission.”

Ishtar Saiyadi, J.D. was born in Urmia, Iran before coming to the United States through Austria when she was nine. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University at Stanislaus, after her original thesis about the Assyrian Genocide during WWI was accepted. In 2018, Ishtar earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Golden Gate University School of Law, where she focused on Constitutional, immigration, and public policy law. Using her personal background and education, Ishtar has become a passionate advocate for the Assyrian community and has devoted time to bringing awareness to the issue of Assyrian genocide recognition, finding a passion in advancing Assyrian causes.

While employed with Congressman Josh Harder, she worked with the Congressman and various community members to build support for the Assyrian Genocide Resolution within the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently, Ishtar works with a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights issues.

When not at work or researching Assyrian issues, Ishtar prefers to spend time with her family in California, and her pet rabbit.

Born and raised in Michigan, Elina Arbo’s upbringing by the Assyrian community is what makes her so passionate about the Assyrian cause. She is currently a senior at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. Elina is researching the impact of spatial violence and settler colonialism against minorities in Turkey, while also mapping and documenting the relationship between these communities and their homeland. She previously interned in the Ancient Near Eastern Arts Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she cultivated an interest in Assyrian art and cultural preservation. Upon graduation, Elina hopes to better service the Assyrian community directly, beyond the walls of academia.

The key purpose of the API’s Board of Directors is to determine and monitor the organization’s activities and projects, to advise on and review strategic plans, and to ensure that the API’s undertakings are aligned with its mission and objectives. The full list of the API’s board of directors and leadership is available at


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