Inclusive Narratives Practice Group / Director of Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)

Orzala Nemat

Dr. Orzala Nemat is an internationally known Afghan scholar and think tank leader. She is an expert in political ethnography, holding a PhD in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MSc in Development Planning from University College London (UCL). Dr. Nemat has firsthand experience in how it is to be a war refugee, having spent fourteen years as a refugee in Pakistan. However, she chose to rise above the situation by focusing on helping women and girls in her community and developing her career. Dr. Nemat assisted and helped marginalized members of society through educational programs, building schools, protection of female victims of violence, peacebuilding for children and leading advocacy for legal reform.

Dr. Nemat has founded an organization, led and worked with various grassroots, national and international organizations in over 20 years of her professional life. She has served on various development organisations’ governance boards and has attended numerous international and national conferences representing voices from Afghanistan and Afghan women. Dr. Nemat currently chairs the Open Society Foundation’s Afghanistan Advisory board and serves on Afghanaid, a British Charity working in Afghanistan, as a trustee. Dr. Nemat was selected as a Young Global Leader at the World Forum in 2009, Yale Greenberg World Fellows in 2008 and is a recipient of the Isabel Ferror Award for Women’s Education and the Amnesty International Award for Humanitarian Aid to Children and Women in the year 2000. Upon completion of her studies and after teaching international development courses at SOAS for two years, Dr. Nemat returned to Kabul where she worked as the Afghan president’s advisor on sub-national governance briefly before joining Afghanistan’s top research think tank Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) as its director in 2016. Nemat publishes on various development issues and frequently appears on international media and different platforms discussing the plight of Afghanistan and its current developments.