Founded in 1979, DAD is comprised of religious and non-religious Iranians as well as specialists and technocrats. It represents different sectors of Iranian society. Ayatollah Jalal Ganje'i heads the group. He is a well-known opponent of the fundament alist interpretation of Islam. Much higher in religious rank than Khamenei and Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Ganje'i was a student of Khomeini, but parted ways with him because of Khomeini's emphasis on Velayat -e Faqih.