The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women Renews Advisory Board Charter, Welcomes Five New Members

Advisory Board Members Ambassador Steven E. Steiner, Belquis Ahmadi and Daphne Wales with Students in the Classes of 2017 - 2020

Updated charter focuses on program design and delivery, student recruitment and support.

PROVIDENCE, RI, Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women (The Initiative) is pleased to announce the renewed charter of as well as the addition of five new members to its Advisory Board.

Going forward into its fifteenth year, the Advisory Board will function as a working group of subject matter experts in the United States and Afghanistan focused on:

  • program design and delivery

  • student recruitment and support

  • academic and employment partnership development

  • raising awareness and endorsement of The Initiative in the US and Afghanistan

The Initiative is honored to include five distinguished new subject matter experts on its Advisory Board.

Belquis Ahmadi

Belquis Ahmadi has over 20 years of experience working in Afghanistan on issues related to gender, human rights, civil society development, rule of law, governance and democracy. Ms. Ahmadi’s extensive experience includes senior management positions under large USAID programs in Afghanistan, evaluation of USAID gender and democracy and governance programming, and analysis and design of gender and human rights programming, and training and mentoring Afghan civil society and government candidates. She has also published extensively on democracy, governance and women’s rights in Afghanistan. Full bio.

Mir Akhgar

Mir Akhgar joined Qara Group in 2017 as a partner to lead the firm’s vertical and geographical expansion. Vertically, Qara will complement its legacy offerings in research and consulting with new services in the areas of brand, communications, and venture capital. Prior to Qara, Mir joined a team of passionate global marketers to launch a digital marketing agency in New York City. Mir helped the company grow from 3 employees in 2010 to 65 in 2017 with offices in New York City and London. During this time, Mir led brand and communications efforts for major global brands and Fortune 500 companies such as Western Union, U.S. Army, FC Internazionale Milano, Anheuser-Busch (ABI), and General Motors (GM), to name a few. Mir holds a bachelor’s degree in Management, Marketing, and Communications from Manhattanville College in New York and an Executive MBA in Corporate Innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Full bio.

Nadia Sakhi*

Nadia Sakhi was an outstanding scholar and student leader who returned to Afghanistan each summer through The Initiative’s Summer Internship in Afghanistan program to support women’s rights advocacy and vocational training at the Women Activities and Social Services Association in her hometown of Herat. After graduating with honors in 2010, she returned again to lead large scale projects at USAID Afghanistan and Development Alternative supporting women’s health and hygiene, encouraging youth participation in local government, and helping women understand and exercise their voting rights in five provinces across Western Afghanistan.

Full bio.

Mina Sherzoy

In 2002, Mina Sherzoy returned to Afghanistan, in order to dedicate her life to the people she left behind two decades prior. From 2003 to 2005, she served as an advisor on gender issues to Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce (MoC) and was Director of Women Entrepreneurship Development (WED) at the Ministry of Commerce. Under Mina’s supervision, WED became responsible for providing basic business skills to women, including training women on how to invest in and manage their own businesses. In 2003, Ms. Sherzoy established the first Afghan Women Business Association (AWBA) where women can attend and be trained in basic business, exhibition, design, and management classes. Full bio.

Daphne Wales

Daphne’s nearly 20 years of experience as a University of Rhode Island professor enable her to grasp, develop and create organic programs for institutional development bridging communication and cultural constructs in order to empower disadvantaged women, children and men in developing countries. She works to create proposals and content for programs that teach people how to reach their fullest potential through new leadership approaches to their own lives and the lives of others. Her passion for nonviolence underlines her belief in accomplishing what may seem impossible by reaching out to and involving marginalized groups in the process of peace-building at the personal, community, institutional and national development levels. Full bio.

Current members of The Initiative’s Advisory Board include:

  • Ambassador Steven E. Steiner

  • Catherine Dale, PhD

  • Mary Mitchell Goodman

  • Adela Raz*

  • Nadima Sahar*

The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women Advisory Board

* program alumna

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