Advisor, Office of the National Security Council, Afghanistan
Mariam Wardak began her career in international affairs at the age of 15 while in Gaithersburg High School of Maryland, when she travelled from the United States to Afghanistan to assist her father with humanitarian projects focused on women’s empowerment, youth, community, sports, initiating peace curricula related activities and an orphanage and children’s center. She completed her formal education in the United States and subsequently returned to Afghanistan in 2010 to work in social justice and communications, with a focus on security. She serves as Strategic Communication and International Relations Adviser at the Office of the National Security Council to the National Security Adviser, M.H. Atmar. In the education sector, since becoming an active member of the think tank community in Afghanistan, Mariam has been volunteering 10 hours a week to train senior level female high school students in research to better apply critical thinking in academics, especially when applying for higher education. In the cultural affairs domain, Mariam continues her efforts to reintroduce the heritage of Afghanistan’s ancestors through events and gatherings, mainly with women. Mariam is among the few female researchers and policy advocates in Afghanistan. She has extensively contributed analyses to a number of publications. Additionally, Mariam is also the Deputy Chairman of Afghanistan Forward, a leading political group for young Afghan professionals.