Shaan Shahrukh Dhanji

Shaan Dhanji Portrait‘Shaan’ as he is known to his friends and colleagues was born in Bombay, India, on December 29, 1966, the first grandchild for his maternal and paternal family, both of which boast exceptional historical accomplishments. At the age of 8 in December, 1974, the immediate family of four commenced an immigrant journey to the United States. The process took them to the United Kingdom and then to Canada before the family entered the United States with Green Cards in possession. First settling in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and 3 years later to what became the home state – Florida.

Historical core family values included giving and contributing to community and country with an emphasis on humanity. This has been abundantly evidenced through actions undertaken by his ancestors and recently grandparents and parents with global and country initiatives with noted leaders some of whom have included U.S., President Ronald Reagan, the Aga Khan and the Nizam of Hyderabad, respectively.Oval Office

Family heritage and convictions laid the foundation for the service that Shaan undertook for community. In this respect he served honorably in the United States Navy (R), having being recognized for his professionalism and other accomplishments. He then continued his education matriculating with a Juris Doctorate, and then engaged in commercial ventures, with much success. He qualified as a Mediator and provided Alternative Dispute Resolution services, structuring settlements in often complex matrices in commerce and community based disputes.

Shaan continued service to community, with a strong emphasis on Social Welfare and Human Rights issues. In December of 2005, he received a call from the Office of Governor Jeb Bush of Florida asking if he would consider serving the State of Florida as a Commissioner for Human and Civil Rights. It was unexpected, and in holding true to his convictions, he accepted. Under the Bush administration he was the only Commissioner in this position from the Democratic Party serving a Republican Administration (twice) -the position was one of service to community – protecting the very fundamentals of human rights and self-determination. It was not however, his first state wide service, but it was by far critical and demanding given the direct impact this Commission had on the people that live, visit and work in the state of Florida. His first state position was as an inaugural Member of the Mediator Qualifications Board – appointed by then Chief Judge of the State’s Supreme Court, the Honoroable Rosemary Barakett.

Jeb BushIn recognizing the financial challenges that face all government organizations, he set out to increase the Commissions position by partnering with local community leadership. In order to achieve this he started a non-profit Human Relations Council of Florida in a joint partnering relationship with the State of Florida in December of 2006. It provided a platform for dialog to reduce violence and disruption in Florida’s communities, to mitigate prejudice and discrimination. All this was done at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

In May of 2007 he was invited by the Chief Judge of the 17th Circuit of the State of Florida (the most populated culturally diverse community of Florida) to take such action as to redeem the public trust and confidence in their Judges. This request for assistance came after media reported incidents of perceived inappropriate judicial sensitivity and objectivity. He accepted this position that fundamentally provided a predicate for re-establishing public confidence in the judiciary.

Shaan was approached by senior law enforcement executives from New York. With an increase in violence and a need for integrity to be reflected in government he was asked for intervention in New York by the Seagate Police Department. To develop policy for community partnering/policing initiatives and recommendations for increased infrastructure protection. In this respect he was received as a Senior Law Enforcement Executive and provided the rank of Deputy Chief of Police (Hon). Many Law Enforcement Executives at the local and Federal levels lauded him for his professionalism and initiatives.