Assal Ravandi is the Founder and CEO of the Academy of United States Veterans, an organization that focuses on promoting veteran causes, campaigns and veteran service organizations through media relations, public relations and community outreach. A former U.S. Army intelligent analyst and language instructor, Ravandi trained as a combat-qualified linguist and cultural affairs adviser and served in Afghanistan.
Among her military honors and awards were the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. However, Ravandi would say that her proudest distinction was simply serving with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.
A successful immigrant herself, Ravandi knows something about the difficulties of integrating into a new society. Identifying with the troops with whom she served, Ravandi realized that her new mission was to help veterans from all backgrounds "connect the dots" between an honorable discharge and securing a meaningful and sustainable new life. Through a range of contacts, connections, and cajoling - with the help of a series of business professionals, executives, and educational institutions -Ravandi coordinates the steps necessary to help veteran service organizations and programs find great visibility in the American community and empowers them to continue their service to the veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Having a rich background in strategic public relations and community outreach Assal, has become well known for her knack for effective communications while impacting change in the community. Her passion for community outreach through event planning began in San Antonio, Texas, where Assal organized fashion shows that benefited the San Antonio Cancer Foundation and various other non for profit organizations. Along with her charitable efforts Assal has built an extensive studio background working on major motion picture films such as; Dream Girls, Flags of our Fathers, Ask the Dust and Babble to name a few. Working with Paramount Pictures Assal handled award publicity, where she strategized award season publicity plans for several films to be submitted for the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, Sag Awards and several other major award shows. After working on the Oscar Campaign of Dream Girls and Flags of Our Fathers, Assal began to work independently as a talent publicist, working with various international artists who used their public image to do greater good in their communities. While representing her clients Assal also worked on multiple award campaigns with independent production companies, organized and built several grass roots charity events, such as fundraising and publicity for the Women's Clinic and Family Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, California. Assal entered the political realm in 2008 when she organized and chaired several events for President elect Barack Obama. The Gala hosted August 21st had an impressive host committee of Tony Bennett, Ashley Judd, Lucy Liu, and Don Cheadle and many more. The Count Down for Barack hosted on October 17th, a Get Out to Vote campaign, hosted speakers Esai Morales and Deidre Hall. January 20th 2009, Assal chaired and organized the Inaugural Purple Ball, which was noted as the most glamorous event in all of Washington D.C. This event which benefited the United Negro College Fund, was named in the top five of the Inaugural balls by the New York Times, LA Times, and In Style and received mainstream media coverage from CNN, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and many others.
Assal holds a Master of arts in Strategic Public Relations and Master of arts in Human Development from The George Washington University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the university.