Hon. Zahra Karinshak
Georgia State Senator and Congressional Candidate for Georgia's 7th District
Zahra (Sheikholeslam) Karinshak graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989, placing her in the 9th class to accept women. Zahra was the top graduate from intelligence school with the highest academic average in the course’s history. Upon graduation, she served as an intelligence officer during the first Gulf War and then returned home to attend Emory University School of Law.
During her military service, Zahra received many awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. As a federal prosecutor, she gained experience in conducting grand jury investigations, trial, and prosecuting cases involving fraud, public corruption, money laundering, violent crimes, child exploitation, and immigration. Now, after 21 years of practicing law, she is the senator for Georgia State Senate 48th District.
While in office, Karinshak has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the Georgia State Senate. Although only newly elected to public office, Karinshak was named chairwoman of Gwinnett’s Senate delegation. Karinshak has served on a diverse range of committees including Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Natural Resources and the Environment, Special Judiciary, and Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security.
In addition to her accomplishments in the Georgia State Senate, Karinshak also claims the historic title of being the first Iranian American legislator elected to the Georgia legislature. If successful in her congressional bid, she will be the first Iranian American to serve in the United States Congress and the highest-ranking Iranian American elected to public office.