She first came to the United States when she was 17, in order to get an education at Stanford. There, she received her B.A. in Communications and French Literature and, later, her master's degree in Communications. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. At Stanford, she met and later married Jim Ameri, a real-estate investor. She permanently settled in the United States after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, and became a citizen several years later.
In 2004, she handily defeated moderate, small businessman Tim Phillips and conservative Jason Meshell by a 2-1 margin each to become the official nominee of the Republican Party for Oregon's 1st district seat in the House of Representatives and challenge three-term incumbent Democrat David Wu. Her attempt to become a member of Congress was a subject of admiration and discussion in Iran and around the world.
Ameri's campaign gained a great deal of attention from political insiders in Washington, D.C. because of her fast-paced fundraising skills. She was ranked by the Federal Elections Commission as the number-one Congressional challenger candidate in the country in total dollars raised for the 2004 primary and general elections cycles. The contest between her and Wu also received some national attention when, late in the campaign, Wu admitted that he had been disciplined for attempted sexual assault of a female classmate while he was a student at Stanford. Ameri heavily pushed the issue in the closing days of the campaign, but the issue apparently had little impact on the result.
She is president of eTinium, Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. She has two sons.