One of the tragedies for this generation of Iranians is that there are no structures in place to capture and house a record of their contributions for posterity. Usually it’s politics that determines who’s remembered and who’s not.
Born on May 5, 1921 in Anzali Iran, Latif Ramazan-Nia passed away in Greenbrae California on February 11, 2010.
A graduate of Tehran University he joined the Oil Company in Abadan in 1942 and held various technical and administrative posts both in the Iranian Oil Refining Company (I.O.R.C) and the Iranian Oil Exploration and Producing Company (I.O.E & P.C.). In 1963 he was appointed as a director of I.O.E. & P.C. and Deputy General Fields Manager. His next assignment occurred in October 1964 when he was appointed as director of I.O.R.C. and Deputy General Refinery Manager of the Abadan Refinery. In 1965 he was the first Iranian to be promoted to become General Refinery Manager. In 1971 he was appointed as an alternate Member of the Board of Directors of the National Iranian Oil Company (N.I.O.C) and the Head of Engineering and Projects Group where he worked until his self initiated retirement in November of 1974.[photo essay]
Latif Ramazan-Nia was one of the founders of the Iranian Petroleum Institute and served as the President of its Council for some time.
Latif’s appointment to the Abadan Refinery’s General Refinery Manager position was a significant event in the history of the Iranian oil industry, setting an example for managerial excellence erasing further the long shadow of colonial industrial behavior in Iran. The appointment was met by industry wide expressions of pride and enthusiasm. The Shah in an address to the Board of Trustees of the Arya Mehr Technical University (Present day Sharif University) on November 2 1965 said:
“We ourselves are now conducting most of the Oil Industry operations. For the first time in the history of our Oil Industry, an Iranian has been appointed as General Refinery Manager of the Abadan Refinery.”
Thomas Brady writing in the New York Times (December 20, 1965) about the Iranian Oil Industry stated:
“The most important figure in the Iranianization of the consortium’s operations is Latif Rmazan-Nia who took over as manager of the refinery at Abadan. Mr. Ramazan-Nia, who studied engineering at Tehran University got his first job building airports with the Royal Engneering in Iranian Baluchistan during World War II. He joined the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1943 as a processor operator in the Abadan refinery and in the Mossadegh era was head of the stocks and shipping department.” “Of the Mossadegh era Mr. Ramazan-Nia said “though the plant was mainly idle for three years they were the best school I ever had.” in 1960 Mr. Ramazan-Nia attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.”
Hailed by colleagues and superiors as a dynamic, creative and inspirational leader, Latif prided himself in supporting, encouraging and uplifting fellow Iranians to take ownership of their national resource – Oil
Latif is survived by his wife Parvin, his son Nersi and grandsons Nima and Niusha.[photo essay]