Former Personal Aide to President Barack Obama, Chief of Staff to Chief Content Officer at Netflix
Ferial Govashiri had one of the world’s most fascinating and demanding jobs: gate keeper to the Oval Office. As President Barack Obama’s personal aide and private secretary, she interfaced with national and global leaders, juggled crises, and observed the most powerful office on earth from its most intimate vantage point. Today, she creatively intertwines accounts of Oval Office events such as a private meeting between the President and the Pope with her own inspiring story as a child of immigrants seeking freedom and opportunity. Following her passions with confidence and conviction, Govashiri went on to challenge both convention and her parents’ expectations to pursue a career in the political limelight. Read More >
Ferial Govashiri’s family fled Iran when she was an infant, just as the Ayatollah was sealing off the country’s borders. They arrived with almost nothing but their education and a strong belief that anything was possible in America. Her father, a respected physician, had to rebuild his career from scratch. In this inspiring talk, Govashiri shares how her family’s experience as immigrants and her own identity as a first-generation American empowered her to pursue her dreams, eventually becoming the gate keeper of the most powerful office in the world.
As a young Iranian-American woman, Ferial Govashiri was a Washington game changer. As one of the few people to work alongside President Obama on a daily basis, she provides a unique perspective on how women can be successful and achieve positions that have been traditionally dominated by men. Govashiri shares her three rules to success: never cry, never run, and never raise your voice. She also expands on themes such as the power of confidence, determination and risk-taking in decision-making. Her extraordinary stories from behind the scenes of the nation’s most powerful office provide impactful takeaways and inspire women from all walks of life to take their careers to the next level.
Ferial Govashiri had one of the most important roles in the White House: the power to decide who got to see The President of the United States. To be in such a high position, she had to demonstrate an unbreakable inner strength, which allowed her to manage some of the world’s most powerful leaders. In this speech, Ferial explains how she mastered the tenacity and decision-making needed in such a critical White House role. In addition, she shows audiences how to measure and take calculated risks, mitigate the failure of those risks and be more accepting of failure — all essential traits that contributed to her success.
"Ferial was great. She was so gracious. The moderated conversation with Dr. Prince went well. I heard positive comments. We are just starting to get comments via our online evaluation survey. So far, the majority were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with Ferial and liked the moderated discussion format."
"Ferial was a hit this weekend. Her talk on Friday was well received and well attended. We had a line of students waiting to speak with her after the talk that took around 90 minutes to get through. We are glad we brought her to campus."
"The event was fabulous! Ferial was a huge success."
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