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Launch of the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience

September 16, 2022

Program Overview

Rina Amiri, U.S. Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls and Human Rights and Thomas West, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan cordially invite you to attend the launch of the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and Boston University.
Featuring Remarks By

T.H. Antony J. Blinken

Secretary of State of the United States

This event will feature an expert panel focused on the role partnerships can play in supporting Afghan women’s economic security in Afghanistan and globally. View live at: https://interactive.state.gov/awer/.


English Language

Dari Language


Fereshteh Forough, CEO, Code to Inspire

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. When Fereshteh was a teen, the Taliban regime collapsed and Fereshteh and her family moved back to Herat, Afghanistan. After returning to Herat, she earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science. She later earned her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany. Forough returned to Herat University to join the Computer Science faculty, where she taught for almost three years. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Fereshteh is a pioneer in adopting blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Afghanistan.





Ayesha Hashem, Public Policy Manager, South Asia, Meta

Ayesha Hashem is part of Meta’s Asia-Pacific Public Policy Emerging Markets team where she leads the company’s public policy efforts for Afghanistan and Nepal. Ayesha is responsible for engaging with policymakers, NGOs, academia, industry associations, technology companies on topics like privacy, safety, freedom of expression and growth of the digital economy. Currently Ayesha is focused on topics of terrorism, safety and economic resiliency of women and minority groups, digital literacy, and providing resources and support to organizations responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Prior to joining Meta, Ayesha worked in the international development space with organizations like the Asian Development Bank as well as in the public sector in Afghanistan and the UAE.




Nell Todd, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Nell Todd is a managing director at Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads Deloitte’s support of the State Department’s work in Afghanistan. She is currently the diversity, equity, and inclusion leader for Deloitte’s international affairs sub-sector and the pro bono lead for Deloitte’s government and public services. Nell has managed development projects in over ten countries, focused primarily on strengthening local governments. She also leads large-scale, mission-focused transformation and strategic planning efforts with federal government agencies. Nell was an interim head of school, taught for ten years as an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and served in the U.S. Peace Corps. Nell holds a B. in political science from Carleton College and an MS in public policy and management from the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.




Manizha Wafeq, Co-Founder, Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Manizha Wafeq is a Gender and Development expert and Business Trainer. She has been a strong believer and advocate of women’s economic empowerment. She is the founder of the Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI). She has also worked with the “Peace Through Business” program for the past 15 years, training and mentoring more than 600 businesswomen from more than 17 provinces of Afghanistan. Her persistent and influential lobbying skills have resulted in policy change supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Wafeq holds a MBA from the American University of Afghanistan. She is the founder of an annual Aaward for businesswomen, the Bibi Khadija Award.



Moderated by: H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid

H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid is an advocate for women’s, newborn, child and adolescent health, nutrition and wellbeing in humanitarian and fragile settings. As Special Advisor to the World Food Programme (WFP) on Maternal & Child Health and Nutrition, and Convener of the Roadmap to Accelerate Progress for Every Newborn Humanitarian Settings 2020-2025, Princess Sarah supports efforts to reduce maternal, child and newborn mortality and morbidity in populations affected by violence and conflict, and champions the health, wellbeing, empowerment and contribution of girls and women in fragile and humanitarian settings. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, an MSc in Development Studies and an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.