Heroine of the Day - Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh Ansari (Persian: انوشه انصاری‎; née Raissyan;[3] born September 12, 1966, in Mashhad, Iran) is an Iranian-American engineer and 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.

Early life

Anousheh Ansari was born in Mashhad, Iran. She and her parents moved to Tehran shortly afterward.[6] Anousheh is Muslim, she 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.

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.

After graduation, Anousheh began work at MCI, where she met her future husband, Hamid Ansari. They married in 1991.

Ansari resides in Plano, Texas.

Business career

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.[citation needed] 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.[12] 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."[13] As of March 2001, she remained in that position.[dated info]

In 2006, she co-founded Prodea Systems, and is the current chairman and CEO.

Quotes

I hope to inspire everyone”especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men”to not give up their dreams and to pursue them…It may seem impossible to them at times. But I believe they can realize their dreams if they keep it in their hearts, nurture it, and look for opportunities and make those opportunities happen.

"The actual experience exceeds all expectations and is something that's hard to put to words… It sort of reduces things to a size that you think everything is manageable.... All these things that may seem big and impossible ... We can do this. Peace on Earth – No problem. It gives people that type of energy ... that type of power, and I have experienced that."

Wikipedia: Anousheh Ansari

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