Born to a Persian family in Iran, Nazafarin Hedayati, also known as Nazee Heda, immigrated to Yugoslavia with her father, where she spent a year and a half, before moving to Denmark to live with her aunt. Having been exposed to the oil and gas industries early on when she still lived in Iran, she found herself drawn chemical engineering because she hadn’t seen very many women in that field. In 1993, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Queensland, which she followed with an additional Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark in 1995. During this time, Ms. Hedayati began her career as a junior chemical engineer with Kruger Systems AS in Copenhagen from 1994 to 1995.
Continuing her studies with a Master of Science in chemical engineering from Imperial College London in 1997, Ms. Hedayati joined Troy Petroleum Consulting as a reservoir engineer in 1998 and remained there until she came to the United States in 2000. Also in 1998, she co-authored “Mechanisms of Gas Solution Inside Porous Media, Including the Effects of Viscosity on Solution Rate,” which was published in Reservoir Engineering, a journal of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, where she also spent time as the chair of their scholarship committee. She then went on to serve as a petroleum engineer in the division of oil and gas of the California Department of Conservation from 2010 to 2011. Since 2011, Ms. Hedayati has worked as a mineral resource engineer with the California State Lands Commission. In this role, her duties include coordinating with local, state and federal agencies; executing policy; monitoring drilling activities; and working with lawyers, among other tasks.
In recent years, Ms. Hedayati has begun involving herself in immigration law, driven by the fact that during her own immigration to the United States the lawyers she worked with weren’t particularly helpful. In 2017, she graduated from the Pacific Coast University, School of Law where she was presented with a “Best Attendee” award. Licensed to practice law by the State Bar of California in 2021, she has now established her own private practice through which she offers pro bono services in immigration law. In order to keep abreast of developments in the legal field, Ms. Hedayati holds membership in both the California Lawyers Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.