Asila Wardak is a career diplomat, an essayist, and a human rights activist whose work focuses on the current situation in Afghanistan under the Taliban, especially human rights, women, the peace and security agenda, girls’ education, and the role of the United Nations in Afghanistan. She has contributed to national and international policies, laws, and strategies for refugees/returnees and to the inclusion, protection, and promotion of women in leadership positions and supported women-led organizations in building their capacities.
During her fellowship, Wardak is conducting research on girls’ education and on the direct impact of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. She will work on a book that addresses the lives of Afghan women who grow up in war and conflict and their career challenges, achievements, struggles in a patriarchy society, and reasons for leaving their homeland.
Wardak received a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She served as minister counselor at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations (UN), director general (DG) of UN affairs in Afghanistan, and DG of human rights in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. She has extensive work experience in the field of gender studies, human rights, peace building, and community development, working with such organizations as the Asian Development Bank, CARE International, UN Women, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and the World Bank. Wardak was also a member of the Afghan High Peace Council, representing the government during the peace negotiations with the Taliban.