Farzin Parang

Strategic Partnerships Lead & Senior Legal Director

1) He has repeatedly tried and failed to grow watermelon on a small, high-rise balcony in downtown Chicago, from which you can see a store that sells watermelons.

2) His first job was life-guarding at a daycare center, where he rescued several toddlers from a 2ft pool, and rarely had to be rescued himself.

3) He is originally from Tennessee, but moved to Illinois at a young age in search of a more vertically-oriented state.

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As head of strategic partnerships, Farzin is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships that advance COHESION's mission.  

Farzin has a decade of experience serving in the Mayor's Office of the City of Chicago, most recently as Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development. In that role, Farzin coordinated the City’s departments that oversee development, business promotion, and technological innovation, as well as the efforts of World Business Chicago, the Mayor’s public-private partnership for economic development and business recruitment.  In that capacity, he worked with community groups and other agencies to create new economic development programs, projects, and jobs, and to promote innovation across the city. Prior to his public service, Farzin practiced corporate law at Dykema Gossett.

Farzin holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Northwestern University. He has served as a board member for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and currently chairs the City of Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals.