NEWS & MEDIA

Our alumnae, students and volunteers are making The Initiative's vision of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan a reality by making positive and lasting changes in Afghanistan.

 

We could not be more inspired or proud!

Northwestern University NEXT Program Extern Suhaib Khan Helps Shape, Deliver Leadership Academy 2018

Suhaib Khan (Northwestern 2019) joined The Initiative at Leadership Academy 2018 as part of Northwestern University Alumni Association's NEXT Externship Program, a one- or more-day shadowing experience offering current students the opportunity to accompany alumni hosts like Executive Director Christian Wistehuff (Northwestern 1987) on the job in order to learn more about different professional fields. NEXT externs spend time observing and often working alongside their alumni hosts in order to gain insight into the practical aspects of potential careers. Suhaib, who hails from Chicago, Illinois is a junior majoring in Economics and Political Science at Northwestern University’s Weinberg Colle

The Initiative Celebrates its 100th, 101st and 102nd Graduates: Meet the Class of 2018!

May 2018 marked the graduation of The Initiative’s 100th, 101st and 102nd graduates since its inception in 2003: the Class of 2018! We are so proud of the hard work, determination and dedication to The Initiative’s mission these accomplished young scholars have demonstrated over the past four years, which began with their participation our New Student Summer Orientation program in Rhode Island in August 2014. All three women have distinguished themselves academically at our wonderful partner colleges and universities and have already begun giving back to Afghanistan through our Summer Internship in Afghanistan program. Our 100th graduate, Azada Ahmadi, received her Bachelor of Science and Ba

Leadership Academy 2018: Building Bridges Through Service Leadership

The Initiative's annual weeklong Leadership Academy in Washington, DC is a capstone experience of workshops inspired by The Initiative’s mission and core values led by nationally and internationally recognized experts in their fields. Special emphasis is given to the areas of diversity and inclusion to give the women in our program, who represent a number of politically polarized ethnicities in Afghanistan, an opportunity to create a supportive network which will sustain them throughout their lives and careers. Students also receive a series lectures on leadership principles and empowerment; media and communications; as well as workshops on academic and professional road-mapping and resume a

Bide Majnoon

[Editor's Note: Hajar Hussaini (Russell Sage 2019) dedicated The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women's Annual Afghan Dinner and Awards on Thursday, May 17 at the Embassy of Afghanistan with the following prose offering:] In my uncle's garden in Kabul, as the sun rises every morning trees begin to shake their branches with the early morning winds. There are nine trees in the garden. All trees have learned to live with each other without being a burden for another. Even though they are in close proximity to each other, none of them lean their branches toward another tree. Being well aware of their neighbor tree, it seems like they are dependent onone another. Not like humans who once dependent

Ellen B. Kagen Receives The Initiative’s 2018 Appreciation Award at Embassy of Afghanistan

Award gives special recognition for generous support of The Initiative’s mission and core values WASHINGTON, DC - May 17, 2018 - Ellen B. Kagen was presented with The Initiative’s third annual Appreciation Award at this year’s Annual Afghan Dinner and Awards at the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted by Ambassador Hamdullah and Lael Mohib and sponsored by Ms. Shahin Mafi and Dr. Christine Warnke. The annual Appreciation Award is given each year to recognize extraordinary support of The Initiative’s mission and core values. Former recipients include Dr. Phyllis Magrab of Georgetown University and Ms. Shahin Mafi of the Azar Foundation for Children. Ellen B. Kagen is a Senior Policy Associate of the

Fereshta Noori Receives 2018 Kobra Ahmadi Memorial Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence

Generous annual cash award honors the life and accomplishments of Kobra Ahmadi (Randolph College 2010) WASHINGTON, DC - May 17, 2018 - graduating senior Fereshta Noori (Smith College 2018) was presented with the third annual Kobra Ahmadi Memorial Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence by His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib at this year’s Annual Afghan Dinner and Awards at the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted by Ambassador Hamdullah and Lael Mohib and sponsored by Ms. Shahin Mafi and Dr. Christine Warnke. With this award The Initiative honors the memory of Kobra Ahmadi (Randolph 2010). At school, Ms. Ahmadi was member of the Muslim Club, International Pan-World Club, Club Asia and the Economics

Wadia Samadi Reports on Female Entrepreneurs Changing the Narrative About Afghanistan

Wadia Samadi (University of Richmond 2011), founder of Wadsam Afghan Business News, reported last month on the graduation of 22 female entrepreneurs from Afghanistan’s first private business incubator, Startup Valley. The article, Female Entrepreneurs Changing the Narrative About Afghan Women, appeared in the Afghan Business section of the May 15, 2018 edition of her online business news journal. According to Samadi, the five-month course, administered by AGHAEZ Professional Services and supported by USAID: Promote Women in the Economy (WIE), trained, mentored, and provided networking and learning opportunities for the young entrepreneurs, interacting with other Startup Valley beneficiaries

Engineering Design Clinic Project Featured in Grécourt Gate

Fereshta Noori (Smith 2018), a member of the four woman Greenway Guardians team, was featured in the May 14, 2018 edition of Grécourt Gate, the leading news and events publication for the Smith College community. The article, entitled Real-World Riverbank Design, covering Fereshta and her team’s entry in this year’s Engineering Design Clinic, described how her work with the Mill River Greenway Initiative - aimed at improving riverbank safety at a dangerous river bend along Route 9 near Williamsburg - changed the way Fereshta thinks about “doing engineering.” “I learned that engineering design is not always a straightforward path,” Noori says. “Unexpected things happen, and you have to show f

Naheed Vadsaria to Join Leadership Academy 2018 Panel Discussion on Professional and Service Leaders

Naheed Vadsaria will join Leadership Academy 2018 for our Wednesday, May 16, 2018 panel discussion on professional and service leadership opportunities in Afghanistan! Naheed Vadsaria is a fellow alum with Executive Director Christian Wistehuff of Northeastern University (she a 2002 graduate of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and he a 1991 graduate of the School of Law) and a current MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University. Naheed served as a civilian social scientist embedded with French and American coalition forces during the war in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. There she connected “hearts and minds” of Afghan women villagers to help US military leaders better understand local cul

Volunteer Profile: Ellen B. Kagen, Creating Visions Greater Than Our Fears

Ellen B. Kagen is a Senior Policy Associate of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (CCHD) where she directs the Georgetown Leadership Program. For the past five years Ellen has generously volunteered her time as well as her professional and personal experience as trusted advisor, architect and faculty member of The Initiative’s annual, week-long leadership training program in Washington, DC, Leadership Academy, designed to empower students to achieve their central role in the success of The Initiative’s mission. Leadership Academy is a capstone experience of workshops inspired by The Initiative’s mission and core values led by nationally and internationally recog

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The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is a non-profit education and leadership development program working to create the next generation of women leaders in Afghanistan. The Initiative is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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