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Afghan Wood

Global Friends of Afghanistan
1st Annual Conference

Save the Date:

September 1st 2022

In partnership with Georgetown Master of Arts in International Business and Policy Programme with the McDonough School of Business and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

At:  McDonough Business School, Rafik B. Hariri Building, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007, USA

About the Annual Conference

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Keynote Speaker:

United Nations Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan
Richard Bennett


In Partnership

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Conference Sponsors

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Conference Goal: Provide a collaborative forum for Afghans and their allies to reflect on the past year and identify opportunities to educate and engage policymakers, humanitarians, veterans, and the public on actions that can be taken to support and assist Afghans today and going forward.

Objective 1: Acknowledge the grassroots efforts critical to the successful evacuation of Afghans last summer and identify opportunities to replicate and direct that energy toward renewed efforts to assist the Afghan people.

Objective 2: Inform stakeholders about the current state of Afghan resettlement and the ongoing challenges faced by those still in Afghanistan.

Objective 3: Motivate attendees to support new and continued efforts toward Afghan evacuation and resettlement and improving conditions within Afghanistan.

Objective 4: Mobilize attendees to develop and act on concrete proposals to address key challenges over the next twelve months and report back at next year’s conference.

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Connecting Afghans with the world

Conference Program

Jump to a specific session by selecting the session title in the list immediately below or scroll further down to see the complete listing of sessions and speakers.

1 September 2022

Check-In and Breakfast 7.30-8.30 am

Welcome and Introductions
Professor Bradford Jensen,  Georgetown University Director of International Business and Policy Program and McCrane/Shaker Chair in International Business and Director of the Business and Global Affairs Program  
Professor Jason Criss Howk, Director Global Friends of Afghanistan

Click for the welcome video 

Opening Speaker 
Richard Bennett, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan 

Click for the opening speaker 

Panel 1: Acknowledging the Afghanistan Evacuation
Documentary Trailer

Moderator: Tim Torres, GFA Fellow/Tillman Scholar
Colonel Rahman Rahmani, former Afghan SMW Pilot
Travis Peterson, Co-Founder of Moral Compass Federation
Joy Shanaberger, Co-Founder of the Human First Coalition
Daniel Elkins, Founder of Special Operations Association of America
Nick Palmisciano, Co-Founder of Save Our Allies
Kristie Cole, Vice President of Major Giving for UNICEF USA

Click for Panel 1: Acknowledging the Afghanistan Evacuation 

Panel 2: Resettlement and Immigration Issues

Moderator: Professor Katharine M. Donato, Georgetown University, Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration, and Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM)
Farishta Sakhi, Senior Program Manager at Freedom House
Seyoum Berhe, State of Virginia, Refugee Coordinator
Sarah Cady, Executive Director for Refugee and Immigrant Services, Lutheran Social Services of the National
Capital Area
Wida Saber Popal, Afghan Refugee and Activist for Women's Education

Kari McDonough, Senior Advisor to Welcome.US

Click for the Panel 2: Resettlement and Immigration Issues 

Panel 3: Current Afghan Concerns
Moderator: Annie Pforzheimer, GFA Fellow/Former DCM Kabul 
Mariam Solaimankhil, Member of Afghan Parliament
Ashraf Haidari, Ambassador to Sri Lanka
Crystal Bayat, Afghan Human Rights Advocate
Lina Rozbih, Journalist
Lt. General Haibatullah Alizai, the last Commanding General of the Afghan National Army 
Justine Fleischner, Director of Research for Afghan Peace Watch (APW)

Click for Panel 3: Current Afghan Concerns 


Working Group Discussions

Group A: Women and Girls in Afghanistan: Rights, Employment, and Education
Group B: How to finish the evacuation of at-risk Afghans?
Group C: The Future Governance of Afghanistan
Group D: Supporting Afghans in Afghanistan: Humanitarian Crisis- Economic Collapse
Group E: Afghan insecurity and terrorism threats
Group F: Resettlement of Afghan refugees and immigrants
Group G: New Paths for the Diplomatic community engaging the Taliban-Haqqani regime

Working Group Findings

Senior Observer Comments

Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Mariam Solaimankhil, Member of Afghan Parliament
Lima Halima Ahmad, Doctoral candidate Tufts University
Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS
Jason Howk, Director of Global Friends of Afghanistan

Click for the Working Group Findings and Senior Observer Comments 

Closing Messages



Full Details

Thursday, September 1st, 2022 


0730 - 0830 – Check-In Breakfast


0830–0845 – Welcome and Introductions


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Professor Bradford Jensen,  Georgetown University Director of International Business and Policy Program and McCrane/Shaker Chair in International Business and Director of the Business and Global Affairs Program

Bradford Jensen is McCrane/Shaker Chair in international business and professor of economics and international business at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a senior policy scholar at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Jensen’s work focuses on the relationship between international trade and investment and firm performance. His recent work examines the impact of trade in services on the U.S. economy. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His work has been published in scholarly journals including the American Economic Review, International Organization, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, and Harvard Business Review. Jensen’s research has been cited in popular press publications including the Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, and Business Week.Prior to joining Georgetown in 2007, Jensen served as deputy director at the Peterson Institute. Jensen has also served as director of the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau, on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, and as a visiting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Jensen received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and B.A. from Kalamazoo College.


Professor Jason Criss HowkGlobal Friends of Afghanistan Co-Founder and Director; award-winning writer: U.S. War Options in Afghanistan; The Qur’an: A Modern Chronological Interpretation; A Case Study in SSR: SSR in Afghanistan; Ali’s American Dream: An Iraqi Refugee’s Story of Survival and Triumph; Leaders Always Go A Little Further…Unless They Trip. Master of Arts in South Asia and Middle East Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School. Malone Fellow in Arab and Islamic Studies, and was a Term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He studied Arabic and Dari at DLI, and has focused on Afghanistan topics and engagement since 2002. He is a retired U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer, and a professor at the USAF Special Operations School, he also lectures at various institutes.


0845 - 0900 – Opening Speaker: Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan

Richard Bennett – United Nations UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. Human rights expert with over 30 years of human rights and leadership experience in the United Nations, civil society and national human rights institutions, civil society, especially in conflict, post-conflict, and fragile environments. Long term experience in Afghanistan. Areas of expertise include human rights monitoring, documentation, reporting and advocacy; transitional justice; political and policy analysis, conflict analysis; team leadership and management; programme implementation; evaluation and organizational development; strategic planning. Master of Arts in Social Anthropology from University of Auckland.

0900 - 1000 – Panel 1. Acknowledging the Afghanistan Evacuation

Introduction: 0900-0903:


A trailer for a documentary on the Afghan Evacuation. 


Moderator: Tim Torres, GFA Fellow/Tillman Scholar
Tim served in the 75th Ranger Regiment deploying 11 times in support of combat operations in a decade, literally growing up in Afghanistan. His time in special operations evolved Tim’s views on the war’s impact and its lasting devastation on all who experienced it. Tim drastically altered his career path by volunteering for diplomatic roles within the Army. This time with the mission to end and prevent armed conflict. During negotiations to support the Afghan peace process, Tim sat across from the same Taliban fighters he had previously faced on the battlefield. This experience motivated Tim to pursue a master of arts in international business and policy at Georgetown University. Tim currently is the chair for this conference and is leading a research team at Georgetown University, studying the August 2021 evacuation to tell the story about how the private sector and veterans created a network of networks in the midst of the crisis. 


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Colonel Rahman Rahmani, former Afghan SMW Pilot – A former officer in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Rahmani worked tirelessly on evacuations and resettlement while a student at the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington DC. He previously worked as the head of International Sanctions and Terrorism in and in the Presidential Information Coordination Center at the Office of the National Security Council, Presidential Palace, Afghanistan. He is a writer and helicopter pilot who was just given asylum in the United States. Rahmani is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School from Marine Corps University in 2017 and has a BA in Social Philosophy from Kabul University.

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Travis Peterson, Co-Founder Moral Compass Federation – Travis Peterson is a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and founding member of the Moral Compass Federation. Travis served in the USAF for 21 years. After 9/11, Peterson began his flying career as a Special Missions Aviator flying combat search and rescue on the HH-60G Pave Hawk completing five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he joined the 6th Special Operations Squadron as a Special Operations Combat Aviation Advisor focused on foreign internal defense, FID, aiding partner nations with aviation tactics for integration and interoperability. He flew primarily Russian-built Mi-17 and Huey helicopters. He was finally tasked from SOCOM to Afghanistan's Air Interdiction Unit. He facilitated the initiation of the Special Mission Wing, spending the remainder of his career in support of SMW.

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Joy Shanaberger, Co-Founder Human First Coalition – Joy is the founder & CEO of a tech-enabled firm delivering intelligent automation and emerging technology to clients. On August 19th, her company converted its HQ space to serve as the Human First command center. Joy is frequently sought after for her ability to turn strategic theory into successful, detailed tactical approaches that move the needle for her clients. Prior to founding her firm, Joy worked in a variety of roles across multiple industries.  In addition to leading growth and execution, Joy is a Board Member for the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, Forbes Business Council member, a certified yoga instructor, mentor for transitioning servicemen and women and their families, and spends much of her free time training as a USA boxing amateur for an annual charity boxing match benefiting the military and veteran communities.


Daniel ElkinsMr. Elkins is the founder of the Special Operations Association of America (SOAA), the only Veterans Service Organization in Washington D.C that engages in policy and advocacy on behalf of all of the men and women in the Special Operations community and their families. Aiming to be “a voice for all members of the Special Operations community” on Capitol Hill, SOAA fights for those who fight for us, ensuring mission success for those that bear the greater burden.  Daniel and SOAA were instrumental during August 2021 in support of the Kabul evacuation and larger resettlement efforts.

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Nick Palmisciano, Co-Founder Save Our Allies- Nick Palmisciano is the CEO of Diesel Jack Media, a full-service marketing agency, focused on creating cutting edge content in both the film and commercial spaces. Nick is also the Vice President and one of four founding board members of Save Our Allies, an effort that rescued 12,000 refugees in the final 10 days of the Afghanistan Mission. He was one of the twelve men that physically went to Kabul to assist with the evacuation. He spent the best and hardest six years of his life serving as an infantry officer in the United States Army. In 2006, Nick created Ranger Up, the first military lifestyle brand, which kicked off a decade of veteran entrepreneurial endeavors focused around digital marketing and social media.

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Kristie Cole currently serves as the Vice President for Major Gifts for UNICEF USA and as the CEO/Co-Founder of FORE. In her role for UNICEF, she oversees the fundraising efforts of a team of more than 40 across the United States to secure $100M+ annually for UNICEF’s programming in support of the world’s children. As the CEO and Co-Founder of FORE, a public benefit corporation that leverages its AI-driven technology and data analytics capabilities to tackle humanity's most pressing challenges, Kristie provides strategic vision for the company and leads its business development efforts.

Last August, while serving as the Chief Development Officer for Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and as a student in Georgetown's IBP program, Kristie volunteered her time to raise funds and to assist with the Afghanistan evacuation effort and raised more than $8M in less than a week for several non-profits. Since then, Kristie has served as part of a research team at Georgetown University studying the August 2021 evacuation in an effort to capture the historical narrative of what happened during those two weeks and the lessons learned

0945-1000 Why the Personal Commitment Matters and Will in the Future? Nick Ochsner

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Nick Ochsner is a Gold Star son whose dad was killed in Afghanistan in November 2015 while serving his fourth tour in the country with 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). When Kabul fell back under Taliban control in August 2021, Nick penned an editorial published by CNN reflecting on the sacrifice his dad and countless others made in service to the Afghan people. Nick is the chief investigative reporter for WBTV, the CBS station in Charlotte, N.C. and is the co-author of The Vote Collectors: The true story of the scamsters, politicians, and preachers behind the nation's greatest electoral fraud. He and his wife, Sarah Blake Morgan, a journalist and 2nd lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, live in Charlotte with their dogs Zara--who was adopted from the Kabul Small Animal Rescue--and Murrow.

1000 - 1015Break 

1015 - 1115 – Panel 2. Resettlement and Immigration Issues



Moderator: Professor Katharine M. Donato, Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration, and Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) - Katharine M. Donato holds the Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration and is Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Her research addresses many research questions related to global migration. Among her most recent work are new edited volumes on the landscape of U.S. legal migration and refugee integration in Canada, Europe and the United States. Her most recent books include (co-authored with Elizabeth Ferris) Refugees, Migration and Global Governance: Negotiating the Global Compacts, and (co-authored with Donna Gabaccia) Gender and International Migration: From the Slavery Era to the Global Age. She is the Principal Investigator on a new project about the assimilation and mobility experiences of U.S. immigrant adults who entered as unaccompanied children (funded by the Russell Sage Foundation). She is also co-Principal Investigator on a project that examines how environmental conditions affect out-migration from communities in southwestern Bangladesh (funded by the National Science Foundation). In 2017-18, Professor Donato was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, she was on the faculty of Vanderbilt and Rice Universities.


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Farishta Sakhi - Senior Program Manager, Freedom House, A native of Afghanistan, Farishta started working for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) twenty years ago, co-founded a women’s rights NGO in Herat in the mid-2000s, consulted for several well-regarded firms and organizations (such as World Bank, USAID and EU), served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-2016) at the level of Director General /Senior Advisor for Afghanistan Peace and Security Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Party for Internews in Kabul in 2017. She has also taught at the American University of Afghanistan, where she lost students in the August 2016 terrorist attack. She earned her BA in Commerce from Baluchistan University and an Executive MBA from Preston University - both in Pakistan - and a Master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.  She is a PhD candidate in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She also remains a fellow at the International Center for Transitional Justice and is a current fellow of the Rumsfeld Foundation. She also served as a key advocate for Human Rights and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan for more than two decades. 

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Sarah Cady - Executive Director for Refugee and Immigrant Services Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Sarah, has led the cross-state team since March 2022. Sarah brings over 20 years of experience working with foreign-born populations in the education, health, and refugee resettlement arenas. Sarah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and speaks French.  Sarah has served as a refugee case manager, job developer, and director of programs at the local and national level. Most recently Sarah oversaw the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) Alexandria, Virginia temporary office.

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Wida Saber Popal -  Afghan Refugee and Activist for Women's Education. Wida was a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the eight national Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry member states of SAARC laureate from 2017 until 2022. During her career in Afghanistan, she served as a senior advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan . In addition, She worked as the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Presidential Palace, Which has played a vital role in reducing administrative corruption in the Afghan government. Wida was evacuated to the United States after the fall of Kabul. She spent the first six months of her life in a US army base at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.  During her time in the camp, she did not give up on her dream of educating girls. Wida setup programs to teach language, math, and mediation classes for Afghan girls in the camp. Wida is a psychologist. She is currently studying for her second master's degree in psychology at George Mason University.  Due to the psychological effects of war in Afghanistan and the confusion of leaving their homeland, Wida used her training to help combat the effects of trauma and PTSD in the camps. 

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Kari McDonough serves as Senior Advisor to Welcome.US, a national initiative built to inspire, mobilize, and empower Americans from all corners to welcome and support those seeking refuge here, beginning with our new Afghan and Ukrainian neighbors.

Prior to her role at Welcome.US, Kari served as President and Co-Founder of Vets’ Community Connections, a community-based initiative designed to involve a greater number of individuals in the support of veteran and military families.  She also worked as a management consultant for Accenture, assisting government, private industry and non-profit clients to design, develop and implement large organization change, and with the Council on Foundations optimizing grant maker and corporate giving programs.

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Seyoum Berhe - State of Virginia Refugee Coordinator, Born in small farming village on the Eritrean border, he came to the United States during a time of political unrest to attend college. He has worked in the field of refugee resettlement for the past 25 years and is currently the state refugee resettlement coordinator with Virginia's Office of Newcomer Services.

Video from an Afghan refugee camp overseas

1115 - 1130 – Break 


1130 - 1300 – Panel 3. Current Afghan Issues 



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Moderator: Annie Pforzheimer, GFA Fellow. A retired career diplomat from the U.S. Department of State, Annie Pforzheimer is a senior non-resident associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Annie was acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan and deputy chief of mission in Kabul. Her 30-year diplomatic career focused on security, rule of law, and human rights policy. She also served in South Africa, El Salvador, Turkey, Colombia, and Mexico.




Mariam Solaimankhil, Member of Parliament, As champion of human rights and transparent governance Mariam served in Afghanistan’s Parliament representing the Kuchis/Nomads until the collapse of the Republic in August 2021. Undeterred by violence in Afghanistan Mariam left her Los Angeles business to try to better her ancestral nation. She campaigned for change in Afghanistan as an elected official, and also coordinated international relations for the office of the President for many years. She holds a BS in Communications and Media Studies from California State University and is a Global Friends of Afghanistan Fellow. 


Ashraf Haidari, Ambassador to Sri Lanka, M. Ashraf Haidari is the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, and concurrently served as the Director-General of the South Asia Cooperative Environment Program (SACEP) until recently. He was the Director-General of Policy and Strategy of the MFA from 2015-2018 and Afghanistan’s Deputy Chief of Mission (Minister-Counselor) to India for three years. He also served as Deputy NSA for Policy and Oversight  in the Office of the President and from 2004-2011 served at the Embassy of Afghanistan in the US as Chargé d’Affaires, Deputy Chief of Mission, Political Counselor, and Acting Defense Attaché. He is a writer, analyst, and TV and radio commentator. He holds a MA in Security Studies from the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a BA from Wabash College in Indiana. During 2002-2003, Ambassador Haidari was a Fellow in Foreign Service at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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Crystal Bayat, Human Rights advocate, A native of Ghazni province, was named to the BBC 100 Women 2021 list for her social activist and human-rights advocacy, which figured prominently in protests against the Taliban takeover in 2021. She grew up most of her life with democracy and positive societal changes. She is continuing the fight to preserve Afghan human rights as an agent of change.Crystal earned a BA in Political Science from Daulat from Ram College in Delhi, and holds a master's degree from the United Nations Institute in Delhi. In 2021, Bayat started her PhD at Delhi University in Political Management but her program was cut short due to the Taliban takeover. 


Lina Rozbih, Journalist, Lina is a managing editor and anchor at VOA. She joined Voice of America in 2003 as a broadcast journalist for VOA Afghanistan Service’s radio shows. Since then, she has served in various TV and radio support and leadership positions, including editor, lead-anchor, and managing editor for programs in the Dari language. Her in-depth knowledge of Afghan politics and her linguistic ability is evident in the quality of the service’s programs she sought to infuse with a diversity of views and multicultural perspectives. She is an acclaimed and award-winning Afghan writer and poet in the Dari language, and is the author of The Promise of Paradise, a collection of poems published in India and available in the U.S. through She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Concordia University and a second degree in communications, media and cinema from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada.

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Lt General Haibatullah Alizai, A native of Helmand province who attended National Police Academy in Kabul and the Advanced Command & Staff Course Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. First serving Afghanistan as a Police Officer, he focused on internal investigations for insider threats and championed humanitarian efforts for persons in custody. Transferring to the National Directorate for Security, he was meritoriously promoted to Colonel and served as Director of Operations for the Joint Special Operations Coordination Center. He was asked to join the Ministry of Defense as Director General for Military Operations where he consolidated organizations that previously operated in a silo. He took command of the 209th Northern Army Corps and later Afghan Special Operations Corps Commander to quell the Taliban Northern offensive amid the Afghanistan War. As the Chief of General Staff for the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense from 11-15 August, he provided critical leadership to manage the tactical retreat of all troops still fighting in losing provinces. He continued to lead from Hamid Karzai International Airport, supporting evacuation efforts until the US Military airlift ceased.


Justine Fleischner, is a conflict analyst and researcher with over a decade of experience working in countries affected by armed conflict and terrorism. She currently serves as Director of Research for Afghan Peace Watch. Previously, she led weapon tracing operations in Afghanistan, where she embedded dozens of times with Afghan security forces until just weeks before the collapse. Before that, she spent six years tracing weapons in East Africa and the Horn. She has conducted field research in Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Her areas of expertise include sources of state fragility and violence, armed group dynamics, counter-proliferation, and counter-terrorism research. She has also provided training and technical advice to national governments and partners on the UN Arms Trade Treaty. She holds a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Close with a recent video of women protestors in Kabul, Afghanistan.

1300 - 1310 – Working Group Instructions


1300 - 1400 – Luncheon with Networking / Working Group Preparation (Sponsors TBA)


1400 - 1530 – Working Group Sessions: Group A: Women and Girls in Afghanistan: Rights, Employment, and Education


Leaders: Jess Keller and Lina Tori Jan, Georgetown University Onward for Afghan Women an initiative of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS)



Group B: How to finish the evacuation of at-risk Afghans?


Leaders: Loren Voss, No One Left Behind



Group C: The future governance of Afghanistan


Leaders: Yalda Royan, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professional 

Nazila Jamshidi

Jason Criss Howk, GFA Director



Group D: Supporting Afghans in Afghanistan: Humanitarian Crisis- Economic Collapse


Leaders: Crystal Bayat and Ron Smith

Participants: Jeffrey Grieco, Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce


Group E: Afghan insecurity and terrorism threats


Leaders: Justine Fleischner

Douglas Ramsdell, GFA Advisory 



Group F: Resettlement of Afghan refugees and immigrants


Leaders: John Agoglia, GFA Deputy Director for Partnerships

Mariah Smith, Vice Chairman, No One Left Behind


Participants: John Safi, GFA Advisory Committee


Group G: New Paths for the Diplomatic community engaging the Taliban-Haqqani regime


Leaders: Ambassador Ashraf Haidari

Annie Pforzheimer, GFA Fellow



 1530 - 1655 – Working Group Findings and Recommendations

Moderator: Jason Criss Howk, GFA Director


1530 - 1540 – Group A Findings: Women and Girls in Afghanistan: Rights, Employment, and Education


1540 - 1550 – Group B Findings: How to finish the evacuation of at-risk Afghans?


1550 - 1600 – Group C Findings: The future governance of Afghanistan

1600 - 1610 – Group D Findings: Supporting Afghans in Afghanistan: Humanitarian Crisis/ Economic Collapse


1610 - 1620 – Group E Findings: Afghan insecurity and terrorism threats


1620 - 1630 – Group F Findings: Resettlement of Afghan refugees and immigrants


1630 - 1640 – Group G Findings: New Paths for the Diplomatic community engaging the Taliban-Haqqani regime 


1640 - 1655 – Conference Conclusion Panel and Way Forward

Hosted by: Jason Criss Howk and Mariam Solaimankhil


Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security- Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She most recently served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries, and helped develop the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Ambassador Verveer also served as the former Special Representative on Gender Issues for the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.


Lisa Curtis, Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in the U.S. government, including at the National Security Council (NSC), CIA, State Department, and Capitol Hill. Her work has centered on U.S. policy toward the Indo-Pacific and South Asia, with a particular focus on U.S.-India strategic relations; Quad (United States, Australia, India, and Japan) cooperation; counterterrorism strategy in South and Central Asia; and China’s role in the region.

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Lima Halima Ahmad, Doctoral candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, an Asia Society 21 Fellow, and a research fellow at the Fletcher Center for Security Studies.


Lima is the author of a globally praised examination of women’s rights in Afghanistan for Foreign Policy magazine:

1655 - 1700 – Closing Comments: 

Jason Criss Howk, GFA Director

1700 - 1815 – Reception (Sponsors TBA)


Artlords Afghan Art Display: ArtLords was established in 2014. It is a global grassroots movement of artivists motivated by the desire to pave the way for social transformation and behavioral change through employing the soft power of art and culture as a non-intrusive approach.

Hosted by Georgetown University and Global Friends of Afghanistan

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Lina Rozibh
Lt. General Haibatullah Alizai
Melanne Verveer
Ambassador Ashraf
Mariam Solaimankhil
Annie Pforzheimer
Seyoum Berhe
Sarah Cady
Nick Palmisciano
Daniel Elkins
Travis Peterson
Rahman Rahmani
Tim Torres
Richard Bennett
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Connecting Afghans with the world

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