Farhad Hakimzadeh has a long tradition of philanthropy in his native Iran, as well in the United States and the United Kingdom. As the son of a prominent industrialist in Tehran, he assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of the family company after his father’s retirement. From 1975 to 1980, he managed a fund that awarded college scholarships to the children of employees in his family’s businesses. He established a foundation that built a compound of homes with a dress factory to provide housing and a trade for Iranian women who were widowed and left to care for their children alone. Interested in the area of cultural preservation, Farhad Hakimzadeh organized a group of wealthy Iranians to support the historic restoration of centuries-old homes in the province of Yazd, where UNESCO has designated buildings as world heritage sites.
Farhad Hakimzadeh left Iran two years after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. He became a citizen of the United States, developing successful businesses in real estate and venture capital projects, primarily in technology areas. With an interest in promoting the understanding of Persian culture, he contributed to Iranian Studies programs at Harvard University and donated to the Textile Museum in Washington, which exhibited Persian textiles. In the mid-1990s, he decided to sever his business interests in the United States and devote more time to philanthropy and to the care of his parents. He relocated to London and, shortly thereafter, co-founded the Iran Heritage Foundation, which disseminated knowledge about the Persian language, history, and culture. Appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Farhad Hakimzadeh had oversight for its support of publications, lectures and seminars, doctoral research and teaching scholarships, art exhibits, and performing arts events.