Neda Sharghi of the Bring Our Families Home Campaign Joins Board of James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

WASHINGTON – (Feb. 19, 2024) — Neda Sharghi, former chair of the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, has joined the board of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, the foundation announced today.

The Foley Foundation is named for James Foley, a freelance journalist who was taken hostage by ISIS in 2012 and beheaded two years later. It advocates for the safe return of all U.S. nationals wrongfully detained or held hostage abroad and provides safety education for aspiring journalists and freelancers.

Diane Foley, mother of James and founder of the Foundation, said, “We are honored to welcome Neda Sharghi to our board of directors. She is an extraordinary woman of deep moral courage, exemplified by her passionate advocacy for the return of her brother who was wrongfully detained in Iran for five long years. Her brave advocacy resulted in freedom for her brother and many others.”

The Bring Our Families Home Campaign, launched in 2022 and led by family members of hostages or those wrongfully detained abroad, encourages political leaders in Congress and the White House to prioritize the immediate release of American hostages and wrongful detainees. Sharghi’s brother, Emad Shargi, an American citizen, was held in Iran for five years before being released last September.

Under Sharghi’s leadership, Bring Our Families Home launched several successful advocacy campaigns. These included a partnership with Brittney Griner, who was held captive in Russia, and her WNBA team the Phoenix Mercury as well as the installation of wheatpaste murals nationwide highlighting current detainees. 

“As someone who has spent years advocating for the release of American hostages and wrongful detainees, including my own brother,” Sharghi said, “I know firsthand how vital the role of the Foley Foundation is within our nation’s hostage enterprise. I’m delighted to join its board, to be part of its continued efforts to address hostage diplomacy, and to contribute to Jim’s legacy.”

Foley Foundation Board Chair Ellen Shearer praised Sharghi’s steadfast commitment to the safe and swift return of those unjustly held abroad, saying her expertise and passion will enhance the Foundation’s efforts.

Sharghi received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University, and a Doctor of Science from Harvard University.