01/05/2012 03:53 EST | Updated 01/06/2012 02:10 EST

Nazanin Afshin-Jam: Peter MacKay's New Wife A Woman Of Many Talents


Peter MacKay's new wife Nazanin Afshin-Jam may be best-known for winning the Miss World Canada crown in 2003, but the Iranian-born Canadian is much more than just a beauty queen.

Her family came to Canada from Iran in 1981 following the Islamic revolution there. A lucky thing too, since her subsequent success would have been impossible in a nation where women are second-class citizens.

Afshin-Jam holds degrees in international relations and political science from the University of British Columbia and also studied at the prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and the International Study Center at Herstmonceux Castle in England.


After graduating, Afshin-Jam took a position with the Red Cross as a Global Youth Educator, working on issues such as landmines and children affected by war. She then returned to school, earning a Masters in international diplomacy from Norwich University in Vermont.

Afshin-Jam also speaks three languages: English, French and Farsi.

She won the Miss World Canada contest in 2003 and subsequently finished second in the Miss World pageant. She spent her time with the crown raising awareness for a number of international causes, such as the plight of tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka.

But her most notable act of activism was her successful 2003 campaign to stop the execution of Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, an Iranian teenager who was sentenced to death by stoning for killing one of three men who were trying to rape her and her niece. You can see a number of interviews Afshin-Jam did on Fatehi in the video slideshow below.

Following her success in Iran, Afshin-Jam started the Stop Child Executions Campaign to help other young people facing death sentences.

On top of all her humanitarian work, Afshin-Jam is also a talented musician. She released an album, "Someday," in April 2007. You can see the video for the title track in the slideshow below, as well for her single "I Dance For You."

Between the schooling, languages, pageants, activism and music, Afshin-Jam somehow has found time to become a licensed pilot. She holds the highest rank possible in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

In short: What a catch.

With files from The Canadian Press


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