On April 21, 2020, Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers of Massey College and host of The Massey Dialogues, interviewed Ms. Nurjehan Mawani, past Chair and CEO of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and former diplomatic representative of His Highness the Aga Khan to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2013-2019).
In this discussion, Ms. Nurjehan Mawani reflected on her experiences in Afghanistan.
Matthew Fisher, the 2018-2019 Bill Graham Centre / Massey College Resident Visiting Scholar in Foreign and Defence Policy, and Junior Fellow Leah Morris also added their reflections and commentary.
Nurjehan Mawani C.M. served as the AKDN Diplomatic Representative to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 2013-2019 and to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2005-2013. As Ambassador, she guided AKDN’s engagement through periods of political instability, insecurity and economic transitions while coordinating the expansion of the Network’s development activities to strengthen critical human and institutional capacity. In these endeavours Mrs. Mawani and the agencies of the AKDN worked in close collaboration with government, international partners and civil society to improve the quality of life, remaining steadfast to AKDN’s underlying philosophy guided by His Highness that “human progress depends on human cooperation.”
Her experience working in fragile contexts has centred on an enduring lesson namely that durable peace and stability are inextricably linked with inclusive and equitable development. Particularly in the context of Afghanistan she worked tirelessly with multiple stakeholders to ensure that women’s roles, experiences and voices were included in policy development through active promotion of the social and economic inclusion of women at all levels of society, particularly from remote areas.
Massey College is a graduate students’ residential community affiliated with, but independent from, the University of Toronto. The College offers much more than a residence; it provides a unique, congenial and intellectual environment for graduate students of distinguished ability in all disciplines to share in a rich and stimulating community.