A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
We hope you had a pleasant summer break. We are excited to start our 2022-2023 program with another series of lectures, book conversations and special events. Since the Baskerville Institute was established several years ago, it has grown dramatically and made a tremendous impact on the world. New opportunities for collaboration, networking, and support abound in these challenging times as we strive to improve our knowledge of Iran and American-Iranian history. At present, our Institute’s core activities are structured around four pillars:
A. To educate Iranians and Americans about ways in which positive change in this relationship can be brought about.
B. To emphasize the history of friendship between Americans and Iranians that dates back over a century.
C. To document the contributions made by Americans who came to Iran independently to help with Iranian education and training.
D. To initiate bridge-building projects that strengthen people-people exchanges between Iran and the United States
The Institute runs a lecture/webinar series, hosts a digital archive, supports research fellows and student interns, publishes a newsletter and translation projects, organizes cultural exhibitions and educational programs, and otherwise facilitates bridge-building between Americans and Iranians. We have demonstrated that friendship can be used to build bridges between American and Iranian societies when official relationships are strained. With an average of 110 attendees for each of our webinars and book discussions, we have reached people all over the world. Speakers of great national stature have been invited to speak at our events. We invite you to join our upcoming book conversation with Dr. Sue Stein discussing her book On Distant Service: The Life of the First U.S. Foreign Service Officer to be Assassinated. Dr. Stein will speak with us about the central figure in her book, a U.S. foreign service officer named Robert
Whitney Imbrie. Robert Whitney Imbrie was killed by a mob in Tehran on July 18, 1924. Americans were outraged by his violent death, the first political murder in the service’s history. While Imbrie’s loss briefly made him a cause célèbre, subsequent events quickly obscured his extraordinary life and career. To this day, repercussions from his fateful assignment to Persia continue to cloud relations between the United States and Iran. On Distant Service draws on a wealth of untapped materials to relive an era when diplomacy and dash went hand in hand.
Our internship program with the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics has brought us several students who have helped us with our programs.
In addition to providing them with educational opportunities, we are also educating them on the importance of friendship between Americans and Iranians and the U.S.-Iran relationship.
For Fall 2022, we have Emma Francis as an intern, Emma is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, majoring in International Studies / Middle East Studies. She wants to pursue a career in the U.S. government.
Please help us continue this critical mission of providing students with this experience by donating to our internship program here.
Moreover, we are grateful to our Project Manager Delara Hosseini for her work and diligence. Delara mentors our new interns, designs our newsletter, maintains our website, and oversees our office operations.
It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge all the trust our sponsors, members, and readers place in us and in our work.
Bahman Baktiari, Executive Director
The Baskerville Institute
Baskerville Institute’s online presence continues to grow with people around the world taking notice of our programs and activities. Our digital team has done an excellent job of promoting our campaign on social media. In addition to our programs, we emphasize the importance of friendship between Americans and Iranians.
Invest in our internship program and give young students the opportunity to work and learn about the importance of friendship between Americans and Iranians. You can make a tax-deductible donation here:
MEET OUR NEW INTERN:
We are delighted to have Emma as our Fall 2022 intern. Emma is majoring in International Studies with a minor in Middle East Studies at the University of Utah. She is learning Persian and wants to pursue a career in US government.
Make sure to check out our Annual Report on YouTube! Click the image below to view it now.
Check out this clip from our 2022
Intern Roundtable Webinar!
MARTYR IN PERSIA
The Baskerville Institute is partnering with the King’s English Bookshop to provide signed copies of Reza Aslan’s forthcoming book The American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life & Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville.
REZA ASLAN OP-ED
FALL 2022 WEBINARS
“Seizing a Crown: How the Murder of a US Vice Consul led to the Creation of the Pahlavi Dynasty”
September 19, 2022
2 PM (EST)
Susan M. Stein tells the story of a figure steeped in adventure and history. Imbrie rejected a legal career to volunteer as an ambulance driver during World War I and joined the State Department when the United States entered the war. Assigned to Russia, he witnessed the October Revolution, fled ahead of a Bolshevik arrest order, and continued to track communist activity in Turkey even as the country’s war of independence unfolded around him. His fateful assignment to Persia led to his death at age forty-one and set off political repercussions that cloud relations between the United States and Iran to this day.
REZA ASLAN IN SALT LAKE CITY
IF YOU ARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH,
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS UNIQUE BOOK SIGNING EVENT!
Although the American public knows little about Howard Baskerville, Iranians have venerated him as a martyr for over a century. Having written several best-selling books (God: A Human History, & Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth), Aslan continues his exploration of the relationship between religion and humanity in the story of a Christian missionary from Nebraska who, during a religious mission in Iran in 1907, joined Iran’s democratic revolution, ultimately being killed and becoming a martyr. Aslan’s new book also reveals how Americans and Iranians once viewed each other as nations that shared democratic values and respected individual rights. Baskerville’s sacrifice has shaped how Iranians can view America as an advocate for rights and freedom, which deems it necessary to question how seriously we take our democratic ideals abroad and why we should support those who share them.
“Believers: Love and Death in Tehran”
November 7, 2022
12 PM (EST)
John Limbert and Marc Grossman
The Baskerville Institute Book Conversation with the authors of “Believers: Love and Death in Tehran” (Mazda Publishers, 2020). Written by Ambassadors (ret.) Marc Grossman and John Limbert, BELIEVER is a work of fiction set in Iran and Washington, D.C., during the 1980s and the present. The hero is the fictional FSO Nilufar Hartman, daughter of an Iranian mother and an American father. With the liberty of novelists, the authors have imagined her in scenes both historical and fictional with people real and invented. The following adapted excerpt, set in late 1980 and early 1981, ends with the release of 52 American hostages on Jan. 20, 1981, just a few minutes after Ronald Reagan took his presidential oath of office.
NEW PROJECT (2023)
BIDF is a project of the Baskerville Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization devoted to supporting and strengthening the bonds of friendships between Iranians and Americans. The BIDF carries out this mission by providing a digital portal for Iranian students inside Iran to connect to hundreds of online courses offered by American universities. BDIF’s primary mission is to make it possible for qualified Iranian students in Iran to go through one website for their research on online courses offered by American universities.
This unique initiative will make it possible for Iranian students to learn more about democratic governance, market economies, and free societies.
In addition, they would be able to establish networks among themselves as well as build relationships with US educational institutions. Arguably, these students comprise the most important segment of Iranian society because it is they who will forge Iran’s future. This is an educational program in the interests of the United States, as
well as – educationally speaking – a benefit for the Iranian students. The true significance of this project is that it will help compensate for the dearth of positive programs the US currently manages for influencing the most important people in Iran, its youth.
Forty-plus years of political disputes have severely limited cultural interaction between the two countries and has restricted young Iranians’ access to the academic and social values of American education. This project will provide young Iranians something that has been available to very few: an exposure to the United States untainted by the extreme, toxic rhetoric of their government.
These young people will shape their country’s future, and this program will allow them to do so without the intellectual separation that the Islamic Republic has attempted to impose. This is a very worthwhile program for both Americans and Iranians. Among these Iranian students there is a great hunger to know the realities of the outside world. They should not be kept in isolation.
& ACHIEVEMENT (CEA)
Celebrating Excellence & Achievement (CEA), an initiative of the Baskerville Institute, is aimed at honoring Iranians in the United States who have achieved excellence in their field, and strive to be role models for future generations. By becoming a role model, these Iranians become a window into Iran and Iranian society for their American colleagues and friends. Each month we will introduce and honor exemplary Iranian Americans who have achieved success and recognition in their field, made significant contributions to American society, and helped shape a positive image of Iran and Iranians in the United States and abroad.
WATCH OUR VIDEO HONORING HELIA’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
WATCH OUR VIDEO HONORING NAHAL’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
On Distant Service: The Life of the First U.S. Foreign Service Officer to Be Assassinated
by Susan M. Stein