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Mana Zarinejad named CT Forum Executive Director

January 24, 2024 | HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Forum has appointed Mana Zarinejad, most recently with Connecticut Children’s Foundation, as Executive Director, effective January 22, 2024

Zarinejad has spent much of her career supporting leading minds to address the great challenges of our time — from international relations and global security to healthcare, immigration, and inequity — within academia, the clinical setting, and public policy fora. She previously worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, American University, and Marine Corps University Foundation. Most recently she worked at Connecticut Children’s Foundation.

“I am honored to take the helm of The Connecticut Forum as it continues its storied history of enriching and enlightening our region through thoughtful dialogues between the leading thinkers, artists, and cultural icons of our time,” said Zarinejad. “The free and active exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of a healthy, vibrant metropolitan region. This colossal effort has long been nurtured and shepherded by Richard and Doris Sugarman, who founded and led The Connecticut Forum over three decades and continue to contribute to its tremendous success. I remain in awe of their accomplishment and grateful for the Board of Directors’ vision to advance The Connecticut Forum’s critical mission in the years ahead.”

The Forum worked with the recruiting firm Third Sector New England (TSNE) to recruit and hire

“The expertise and vision Mana brings will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of The CT Forum,” said Imelda Suit, CT Forum Board Chair. “Her deep and varied experience in non-profit management and development is invaluable as we work together to further enhance our reach and impact in the community through meaningful conversations, youth engagement, corporate collaboration, innovative events, and non-profit partnerships.”

The Connecticut Forum is a one-of-a-kind 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Connecticut and beyond with live, unscripted panel discussions among renowned experts and celebrities, and outreach programs serving youth and the community. Founded in 1992, The Forum’s mission is to encourage the free and active exchange of ideas in forums that inform, challenge, entertain, inspire, and build bridges among all people and organizations in our community.

The 2023-2024 CT Forum season includes a line-up of accomplished and renowned panelists and timely, challenging, and entertaining topics. The 2023-2024 Season led off with An Evening with Ken Burns on November 18, 2023.

The season continues with the sold out Forum: Liz Cheney in Conversation with Ezra Klein on Thursday, March 14, 2024, bringing two powerful voices to The Bushnell stage for a live, unscripted conversation about the state of our democracy and a vision for America’s future, featuring Liz Cheney, former U.S. Republican Congresswoman from Wyoming, and NY Times Columnist Ezra Klein.

The third Forum of the season, Being Human in an Age of AI on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, will be a timely and provocative discussion about advances and ethics in the field of AI and what it means to be fully human in a world of technology. The panel will feature Kate Crawford, leading AI scholar and author; Nita Farahany, AI ethicist and neuroscientist; and Kevin Roose, NY Times tech correspondent and author. John Dankosky, long-time CT Forum moderator, will moderate this Forum.

The Forum’s season finale, Chefs! on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, will be a delicious and entertaining evening with a panel of celebrity and award-winning chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson, acclaimed chef, restaurateur and TV host; and Gail Simmons, culinary expert, food writer, and Top Chef judge. Additional panelist and moderator to be announced. Hosted by Travelers.


Contact: Paula Wilson
(860) 509-0909