Manizha Naderi, Executive Director
Manizha Naderi was born in Kabul and raised in New York. She joined WAW in 2002 as a volunteer. She soon became our second staff person, and helped launch our Queens Community Outreach Program in New York. In 2006, she moved to Kabul to launch WAW’s work in Afghanistan. Since 2006, under Ms. Naderi's leadership, WAW has opened 9 Family Guidance Centers, 8 women’s shelters, 4 halfway houses and 4 Children’s Support Centers. Four hundred fifty local Afghan women and men staff these facilities. Ms. Naderi has also built a massive women’s rights awareness-raising training program that has reached over 125,000 Afghans. Ms. Naderi’s goal is to have FGCs and shelters in every province in Afghanistan. Ms. Naderi has a BA in English Language Arts from Hunter College. She has 4 daughters and now divides her time between New York City and Kabul.
• WAW New York Staff
Naheed Bahram, NY Program Director
Naheed was born to a working-class, conservative family in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her family migrated to Peshawar, Pakistan after the loss of her mother in a bomb explosion in Kabul. Ms. Bahram graduated from high school in Pakistan and taught ESL to Afghan women in the Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar. She moved to the United States in 2004 as an international student. She graduated from Queens College in June 2011 with a BA in Finance and Economics. Ms. Bahram has been working with WAW since 2007, first as a volunteer, then intern, then case worker and now NY Program Manager running WAW New York.
Jessica Wright, Administrative Coordinator
Jessica joined WAW in 2010 through volunteering in the ESL classes in New York. While not an educator by profession, she rapidly fell in love with teaching and tutoring. Now Jessica manages WAW's adult education program, homework help and tutoring for children and works part time in the office as Administrative Coordinator.
Vanessa Dubyn, Development Manager
Vanessa’s commitment to the empowerment of underserved populations, particularly women and children of color, led her to joining the WAW family in 2012. Her previous work includes fundraising and grant writing for an inner-city youth program and a shelter dedicated to immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, both in San Francisco. She also volunteered in Nepal and Kazakhstan (the latter as a Peace Corps volunteer) teaching English, working with orphaned children and youth, and fundraising for the community.
Ivana Kvesic, Development Assistant
Ivana joined the WAW team in 2012 and has experience in journalism, fundraising, and teaching English abroad. She is passionate about human rights, social justice, and empowering women globally. She recently finished her M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University, where she focused her studies on human rights and human security. It was in an International Development course at NYU that Ivana became interested in Afghan women's rights and went on to write her master's thesis on gender inequality and human security in Afghanistan.
Yalda Afif, Case Worker
Yalda became a caseworker in January 2011 after volunteering at WAW. She was born in Kabul in 1990 but left in 1992 for Pakistan,where she spent most of her childhood due to war in her country.
She returned to Kabul as a tenth grader in 2006 and later earned a place at Kabul University to study law. She came to the U.S. in 2010 to compete in a moot court before the International Court of Justice,the judicial arm of the United Nations. Her team won, and she was awarded first place for top oralist. Passionate about women’s rights, Yalda leads the Girls Leadership Program – GLP – on Saturdays at the center for high school girls from the local Afghan community. She is also completing her undergraduate degree at Queens College and plans to go to law school.
• WAW DC Staff
Parnian Nazary, Advocacy Manager
Parnian lived in Afghanistan until 2004 when she moved to the United States for her education. She attended Phillips Exeter Academy '06 and then Wellesley College '10 where she double majored in Middle Eastern Studies and South Asian Studies with concentration in history and politics of the sub-regions. Prior to joining Women for Afghan Women in 2014, she worked to inform UN policies in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe as a Program Associate for the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum at the Social Science Research Council in New York. From 2010-2012, she was a Program Officer for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Program at NYU's Center on International Cooperation. She has always promoted Afghan women’s rights through her involvement with various agencies working with women of Afghanistan. A native speaker of Dari, Parnian is fluent in English, Arabic, Urdu, and speaks some Pashtu.
• WAW Afghanistan Staff
Najia Nasim, Afghanistan Country Director
Born into an educated family, Najia has valued education from childhood. Her education was cut short when she and her family had to migrate to Pakistan because of the wars when she was in the 7th grade. Najia completed high school in Peshawar. While still in school, Najia worked as an English instructor. Najia co-founded an English and computer center for Afghan girls in Peshawar. In 2005, Najia and her family returned to Kabul. Upon return, she served as the administrator and finance coordinator at the Civil Service Commission. In 2008, Najia was awarded a full scholarship to attend university in the United States. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Bucknell University with a degree in Economics and Accounting. Najia returned to Afghanistan so she can serve her country, especially contributing to the rights, welfare and development of women and girls.
Azima Kohistani, Kapisa Province Manager
Maryam Amwaj, Badakhshan Province Manager
Hayatullah Talibzada, Nangarhar Province Manager
Rabiya Danishjoo, Faryab Province Manager
Zahira, Saripul Province Manager
Hasina Sarwary, Kunduz Province Manager
Shahbibi Halimi, Project Manager, Children's Support Center
Humaira Ferozi Zadran, Human Rights Training Coordinator
Halim Jan Sulimanzai, Finance Manager