Early life and career
Zarghami was born in Abadan, Iran to an Iranian father, Gholam, and a Scottish mother, Catherine. The family later moved to Canada and finally to Englewood, New Jersey, where she graduated in the class of 1980 from the Dwight-Englewood School, and has been a recipient of the school's Distinguished Alumni Award. At Dwight-Englewood, she "played a lot of sports, Lacrosse mostly." 
In 1980, Zarghami entered The University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont as an elementary education major, but later changed her major to English. She ultimately did not complete her degree, but was later awarded an honorary diploma by the University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services in 2000.
Zarghami joined Nickelodeon as a scheduling clerk in 1985. She moved up through the programming department and became the channel's general manager in 1996, overseeing programming, scheduling, acquisitions, marketing and day-to-day management of the network. Zarghami was promoted to general manager and executive vice-president in 1997.
In 2004, the position of president of Nickelodeon Television was created for Zarghami, where she oversaw production and development for the network, along with marketing, programming and creativity.
After the resignation of Herb Scannell on January 5, 2006, Zarghami became president of the newly formed Kids & Family Group, which includes Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, Nickelodeon Movies, Nick Jr., TeenNick, and Nicktoons.
Zarghami was named Women in Cable Telecommunications' Woman of the Year for 2006.
- Rezaei, Shabnam (2010-06-28). "From TV to the future of Digital Children's Entertainment". PersianMirror.COM. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Staff. "SpongeBob loves Cyma Zarghami: Iranian woman understands what American kids want--and she gives it to them.", Iran Times International, March 20, 2009. Accessed September 10, 2012. "Zarghami was born in Iran, moved with her family to Canada, and then settled in Englewood, New Jersey, before relocating to New York..."
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