Shaharzad Akbar - The God Cast Interview

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Shaharzad Akbar is currently the Chairperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. She was previously Deputy on the National Security Council for Peace and Civilian Protection.

Shaharzad also worked as Senior Advisor to the Afghan President on High Development Councils (August 2017-August 2018) coordinating the prioritization of development projects and programs for high level decision-making. Prior to this, Shaharzad was Country Director for Open Society Afghanistan (Sep 2014-July 2017).

Before this, she was partner and chief operating officer with QARA Consulting, a firm owned and run by young Afghans in Kabul which she co-founded in 2010, an analyst for the Free and Fair Elections Foundation, and a journalist for BBC Afghanistan. Born in Jawzjan, Afghanistan, Shaharzad lived for a few years as a refugee in Pakistan during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

She completed an MPhil at Oxford University as a Weidenfeld scholar in 2011 (the first Afghan women to do postgraduate studies at Oxford) after she obtained her BA (cum laude) in anthropology from Smith College in the U.S. Shaharzad’s writing has appeared in international and Afghan media including Washington Post, Newsweek and Al Jazeera, CNN, and academic journals.

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