Afshan Khan served as President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Women for Women International (WfWI) from 2012 to 2014, becoming only the second CEO in the organization's history. She succeeded Zainab Salbi who had led the institution since co-founding it in 1993.
As President & CEO, Afshan drove all aspects of institutional performance. She was responsible for setting the strategic vision, mobilizing the necessary financial and other resources to execute that vision, and ensuring that WfWI’s work creates the most positive impact possible for women rebuilding their lives after war. Afshan was also the primary spokesperson for WfWI on the global stage. Through her speeches and high-level meetings, she made the case for women's empowerment to audiences ranging from politicians, policymakers and opinion leaders, and the general public.
Afshan joined WfWI after a career spanning more than 25 years with the United Nations, mainly with UNICEF, most recently as Director of UNICEF's Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization Office (PARMO). During her tenure in PARMO, she led a team that was responsible for mobilizing more than $10 billion for programs for children and their families from both governments and foundation partners.
Throughout her career with UNICEF, Afshan was responsible for managing key relationships and high-impact projects. As Deputy Director Emergency Operations and as Associate Director for the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Afshan became a recognized leader in expanding UNICEF's agenda for public/private partnerships. These programs ensured that the assets of the private sector were leveraged to improve development outcomes.
Afshan has spent about half of her career in some of the world's most challenging field assignments, working directly with communities affected by war, poverty, or natural disaster. The other half has been in executive positions where she has worked to make sure that policy decisions reflect the on-the-ground realities she knows first-hand. She is equally comfortable in refugee camps talking with displaced families as she is in high-level negotiations around the boardroom table.
Afshan received her undergraduate degree in political science from McGill University and a Master’s in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Afshan speaks English, French, Urdu, and Portuguese.