WAW’s Afghanistan Country Director, Najia Nasim, to succeed Manizha Naderi as WAW’s New Executive Director starting January 1, 2019
The Board of Directors of Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is proud to announce that WAW’s Afghanistan Country Director, Najia Nasim, will transition to the role of Executive Director commencing January 1, 2019. Ms. Nasim will succeed Manizha Naderi, who has served as WAW’s Executive Director since 2006, and with whom Ms. Nasim has worked closely to build the grassroots approach of WAW—the largest human rights organization in Afghanistan—and its extensive operations, reach, and success.
Since its inception in 2001, WAW has grown from a small group of volunteers to the largest Afghan women’s rights organization in the world, promoting and protecting the rights of Afghan women and children through direct services, human rights training, and advocacy. To date, WAW has 788 full-time staff, 32 facilities, and programs in 14 provinces throughout Afghanistan, with 14 additional full-time staff and hundreds of volunteers working in the organization’s New York headquarters, the New York Community Center, and Washington, DC office, with plans to expand operations into Northern Virginia and other Afghan diaspora communities throughout the world.
The news of the transition was greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm by WAW’s board and staff members, as well as key stakeholders throughout Afghanistan and the U.S. Much like Ms. Naderi, Ms. Nasim’s impressive track record, credentials, courage, and painstaking resolve to protect and strengthen the rights of Afghan women and children in the face of adversity have garnered immense respect throughout the organization, as well as with the clients, stakeholders, partners, and others with whom she interacts.
Ms. Nasim assumes the position of Executive Director with over 17 years of experience in the non-profit realm, with a focus on civil rights, women’s empowerment, and international development, including five years managing WAW’s day-to-day operations in Afghanistan, for which she has received numerous accolades. Ms. Nasim was nominated for the “10 Bravest Women of the World” award in 2014 by Amnesty International and the 2015 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, and in 2018, she won the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice on WAW’s behalf. In addition, she has received official appreciation letters from both Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for WAW’s outstanding performance under her leadership.
In her capacity as WAW’s Afghanistan Country Director, Ms. Nasim has built strong relations with government officials, international donors, the public sector, civil society, and influential local elders and religious leaders. She successfully led a massive program and staff expansion, as well as honed the vision, strategic direction, programmatic development, financial management, and infrastructure growth of WAW in Afghanistan. During her tenure, WAW increased its presence from 10 to 14 provinces, while simultaneously implementing organization-wide evaluation, reporting, operational policies, and work flow systems that have greatly improved WAW’s functional efficiencies and program execution. Ms. Nasim established WAW’s Security Department, which has become instrumental in successfully protecting WAW’s facilities, clients, and staff. Moreover, Ms. Nasim has adeptly navigated the significant social, political, and security challenges with which the organization grapples daily.
Ms. Nasim has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (summa cum laude) with double majors in Economics and Accounting from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Her academic training in the U.S. and years of work experience in Afghanistan has equipped Ms. Nasim with robust financial management skills, technical knowledge, and the practical expertise required for strategizing, developing, supervising, and expanding programs to support WAW’s mission to save, protect, and empower Afghan women, children, and their families. Ms. Nasim is fluent in English, Dari, and Pashtu.
Najia Nasim’s proven commitment to WAW’s mission and vision, her deep understanding of the responsibilities of her new position, and her strengths and successes as a leader in protecting and advocating for the rights of women and girls will undoubtedly further the development and growth of the organization for which she has been promoted to serve as its new Executive Director.
Please join WAW in congratulating and welcoming Najia in her new role!
For Press Related Inquiries Contact:
Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York, particularly their rights to develop their individual potential, to self-determination, and to be represented in all areas of life: political, social, cultural, and economic. WAW advocates for women’s rights and challenges the norms that underpin gender-based violence wherever opportunities arise to influence attitudes and bring about change.