Founded in 1985, the Office of Public Affairs of the Baha’is of the United States (OPA) represents the U.S. Baha’i community in its relationships with the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, the media, and the broader public. OPA operates under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, the elected governing body of the American Baha’i community. The Baha’i national headquarters for the United States is located in Evanston, Illinois; OPA is located in Washington, D.C.
OPA has three primary areas of focus: Human Rights, which includes the defense of the Baha’is in Iran and other countries, Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women, and Sustainable Development. In these and other areas, OPA engages in public education, dialogue, awareness-raising, media outreach, and policy advocacy. Informed by Baha’i teachings and principles, OPA seeks to contribute to the betterment of society and to promote the development of a just, unified, and sustainable world.
The Baha’is of the United States/United Nations Office, a satellite office of OPA located in New York, works on various topics such as the UN and civil society, faith values in global affairs, and the advancement of women. The U.S./UN Office is part of a larger network of the Baha’i International Community – a body that represents over 180 national Baha’i affiliates and has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).