Anousheh Ansari : biography
Anousheh Ansari ( née Raissyan; born September 12, 1966, in Mashhad, Iran) is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, she became the first Iranian in space. Ansari was the fourth overall self-funded space tourist, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station. Her memoir, My Dream of Stars, co-written with Homer Hickam, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.
Honors and awards
Ansari has received multiple honors, including the George Mason University Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southwest Region, and the Horatio Alger Award. While under her leadership, Telecom Technologies, Inc. earned recognition as one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest-growing companies and one of Deloitte & Touche’s Fast 500 technology companies. She was listed in Fortune Magazine's "40 under 40" list in 2001 and honored by Working Woman magazine as the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellence award. In 2009 she was received the first given annually by to honor successful women entrepreneurs in technology.
She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from George Mason University on December 20, 2012.
The Ansari family was recently honored with an Orbit Award by the National Space Society and Space Tourism Society for underwriting the Ansari X PRIZE.
Anousheh Ansari participated as a speaker at the 2010 Honeywell Leadership Academy at Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama with Homer Hickam.
In 2010, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian efforts.
In 2009, Ansari was featured in the documentary film "Space Tourists" by independent Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei about billionaires who paid to ride to the International Space Station aboard Russian spacecraft. The DVD of the film was released in 2011.
She served as the commencement speaker at and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Utah Valley University on April 25, 2013.
In 1993, she persuaded her husband, Hamid Ansari, and her brother-in-law, Amir Ansari, to co-found telecom technologies, inc., using their savings and corporate retirement accounts, as a wave of deregulation hit the telecommunications industry. The company was a supplier of softswitch technology that enabled telecom "service providers to enhance system performance, lower operating costs and furnish new revenue opportunities." The company, headquartered in Richardson, Texas, offered a line of products that allowed for integration between existing legacy telecom networks and application-centric, next-generation networks via software switch technology.
telecom technologies was acquired by Sonus Networks, Inc. in 2001 in a stock-for-stock transaction for 10.8 million shares of Sonus stock. Anousheh Ansari became "a vice president of Sonus and general manager of Sonus' new INtelligentIP division."
, she remained in that position., 13 March 2001.
In 2006, she co-founded Prodea Systems, and is the current chairman and CEO.
Anousheh Ansari was born in Mashhad, Iran. She and her parents moved to Tehran shortly afterward. Anousheh witnessed the Iranian Revolution in 1979. She immigrated to the United States in 1984 as a teenager. Apart from her native Persian, she is fluent in English and French, and acquired a working knowledge of Russian for her spaceflight experience.WARREN E. LEARY, , NY Times , September 12, 2006
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and her master's degree at George Washington University in Washington D.C.GINA SUNSERI, ABC News, Sept. 18, 2006
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