Zarene Rashid Malik

Zarene Rashid Malik studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge MA. She has a Master’s degree in Education (1991). She is also a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University (1995), a management Training Program for college/university heads. Furthermore, Ms. Zarene Malik has over thirty years of managerial experience in senior positions with government and non-governmental organizations. Zarene has worked with the government of Pakistan to develop best policies for education.

During her tenure, Zarene has made invaluable senior-level connections in the education and business communities throughout Pakistan. Zarene has touched many young lives by academic assistance such as college application and senior thesis for students whose first language is not English. As the Country Manager for Advising for the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan, (Fulbright Programme) Zarene has helped students from neighboring countries, including refugees from war-torn Afghanistan.

Dr. Brian Glyn Williams

Dr. Brian Glyn Williams is Professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He is the author of seven books dealing with warfare, terrorism and ethnicity in Islamic Eurasia including The Last Warlord. The Life and Legend of Dostum, the Afghan Warrior who Led US Special Forces to Topple the Taliban Regime. Dr. Williams has travelled extensively throughout Afghanistan doing his own field research and working for the US government. Dr. Williams has also carried out considerable research in Central Asia and the greater Middle East region including helping Yazidi girls captured by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorists to return them to their families.

Eyerusalem Abebe

Originally from Ethiopia, Eyerusalem currently lives and works on the the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō (Stolo), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She studied Global Development at the University of the Fraser Valley and is currently working as the operations manager of a local non-profit organization. Her studies and work is driven by her passion to dismantle systemic barriers for marginalized communities across this increasingly-connected globe.

“I am honoured to be involved in this necessary work to empower girls and women with access to resources and opportunities so they can become the leaders they want to be. Our future depends on women leaders rising everywhere”.

Dr. Gretchen Ferguson

Dr. Gretchen Ferguson is the Director, Global Engagement at Simon Fraser University International and is responsible for developing and strengthening SFU’s partnerships and strategic relations in Africa, the Middle East, and South, Central & Western Asia. Gretchen has dedicated her career to fostering international connections for community-engaged research and learning related to sustainability, community development, and Indigenous economies. She has expertise in the Sustainable Development Goals, decolonization and reconciliation, the Social Economy, and is passionate about diversity and social inclusion.  Gretchen holds a PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University and an MA in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia.  She is on the Board of Community Evolution Foundation and part of the Advisory Group for Solid State Community Industries.