Born in Tehran, Goli Ameri left Iran in 1974, at the age of 17, to attend Stanford, where she earned a BA in communications and French Literature and an MA in communications. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She worked for U.S. Leasing, a division of Ford Motor Co. and became a U.S. citizen in 1989. In 1992, Ameri founded eTinium, a consulting and market research firm specializing in the telecommunications industry. She also served as president of another research firm, AmeriSearch. Meanwhile, Ameri became involved in Republican Party politics as board member and vice-president of communications for the Iranian-American Republican Council of Oregon. After serving on the finance committee of Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), in 2004 Ameri won her party’s nomination for the House of Representatives in Oregon’s 1st District. Trailing in the polls to the Democratic incumbent, David Wu, Ameri focused her campaign on accusing Wu of the attempted rape of an ex-girlfriend 28 years earlier when he was in college. The tactic failed and Ameri was defeated 58% to 38%. President Bush appointed Ameri to be a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and then, in the summer of 2005, to be the head of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly. In November 2007, President Bush nominated Ameri to be Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural and Educational Affairs, and she was confirmed in March 2008, assuming the position on March 19.