<p>As a school girl, Mahboba's life changed forever when the Russians invaded Afghanistan. In 1984 she was forced to flee Kabul after leading a student demonstration. She walked for ten days over the Kyber Pass to escape the threat of imprisonment, lived for two years in a Pakistan refugee camp before marrying and moving to Australia. </p>
<p>Once in Australia, Mahboba began to successfully raise money and awareness among the Australian community for the plight of widows and orphans in Afghanistan. In 1998 she started “International Women and Children’s Support Services Inc” and in 2001 founded "Mahboba’s Promise", an organisation dedicated to improving education and offering vocational training to women and children in Afghanistan. Mahbobas Promise has started schools for girls in areas where there were previously no educational opportunities, as well as engaging in projects focusing on primary health care in rural areas and provision of clean drinking water. </p>
<p>Mahboba has received numerous awards and accolades for her dedicated work. In 2004 she was nominated for Australian of the year, in 2006 she was awarded Australia Muslim Role Model of the Year by Mission of Hope and was exhibited as one of 30 Powerful Women in a UNIFEM Photo Exhibition . She is an Ambassador for peace for the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2010, was featured in “The Garden at the end of the world” which won the Human Rights award the same year, and was included in the annual list of 100 of Sydney’s most influential people in the Sydney Morning Herald magazine. </p>
Prior to joining the Girl Rising team in 2010, Justin spent six years working in South America as an anthropologist, teacher and with non-profit organizations benefitting girls and women. He was awarded an Ambassadorial Scholarship by Rotary International which allowed him to pursue his Master's degree in journalism and a post-graduate program in documentary screenplay writing in Santiago, Chile at La Universidad Católica de Chile. While in Chile, Justin focused his non-profit work on women and children living with HIV/AIDS and his production work on women marginalized by mental illness.<br />
Justin's role at Girl Rising focuses on creating meaningful partnerships with a diverse set of global non-profit organizations and corporations who are proven leaders in educating and empowering girls. Through these partnerships, Girl Rising creates a groundswell of global support and is able to create an impact framework, ensuring that it’s goals of changing minds, lives and policy for girls around the world are realized. <br />
Justin has worked in the field with many of Girl Rising's non-profit partners in the field and has documented their work in Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Peru and Kenya. He worked along side the production team in the creation of the Peru, Egypt and Ethiopia chapters of Girl Rising.<br />
Justin enjoys inspiring audiences to join the movement and informing them about the importance of educating girls. He serves on the Advisory Board of AGALI and has spoken as an expert on panels addressing the issue of early marriage at the United Nation’s Foundation as well and twice on live radio shows in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and National Public Radio in the USA. He is particularly passionate about engaging men and boys in the girls education movement and has presented on this topic at: TEDxUnisinos 2012, Social Media Week NYC and Google Latin American Leadership Conference and will be speaking at TEDxBarcelonaWomen 2013. He is hopeful that his lead will inspire other men and women to invest in girls.<br />
David Rieff is a New York-based journalist and author. Now a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, he has written extensively for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El Pais, The New Republic, World Affairs, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs and The Nation. During the 1990s, he covered conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, and Central Asia. He is the author of eight books, including Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West and A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis. His memoir of his mother, Susan Sontag’s, final illness, Swimming in a Sea of Death, was published in January 2008.
Akka Rimon has been able to observe, first hand, the effects of climate change on her country – a nation very vulnerable to climate change. She is currently on an Australian Leadership Award scholarship from AusAID pursuing studies for a Master of Public Administration Degree.</p>
Her first degree was in Journalism, History and Politics and she has worked with the Government of Kiribati since 2004 – first with the Ministry of Communications, then the President’s Office and finally before taking up studies, the Ministry of Education.</p>
She aspires to a senior leadership role in Government when she returns to Kiribati upon completion of studies.</p>
Deputy CEO and Director of Strategic Projects, World Vision Australia. Paul joined WVA as Director of Policy and Programs in 2004. He has a background in law, business and economics. He co-founded wishlist.com.au, one of Australia’s most successful e-commerce companies, and held the role of Chief Operating Officer of Urban Seed, a small, non-profit outreach service assisting marginalised people in inner Melbourne. Paul has served on the Australian Council for International Development’s Code of Conduct Committee and recently completed a masters thesis on the organisational change imperative for international NGOs in a rapidly evolving global political context.
John Roskam has been the Executive Director of the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs since 2004. Before joining the IPA he taught political theory at the University of Melbourne. He was previously the Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre in Canberra, has been a senior adviser and chief of staff to federal and state education minister, and was the manager of government and corporate affairs for a global mining company.
His publications include Australia's Education Choices (with Professor Brian Caldwell), 'Terrorism and Poverty' in Blaming Ourselves, 'Liberalism and Social Welfare' in Liberalism and the Australian Federation, and 'The Liberal Party and the Great Split' in The Split Fifty Years Later.
His fortnightly column appears in The Australian Financial Review. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Australian Journal of Public Administration, and Connor Court Press, and the Advisory Board of The Centre for Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, Australia in Victoria, and is Vice-President of the Old Xaverians Soccer Club.
Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Minister for Foreign Affairs in September 2010. After gaining his Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree with First Class Honours from the Australian National University, he was appointed to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs as a cadet diplomat serving in the Australian embassies in Stockholm and Beijing. Mr Rudd returned to Queensland to work as Chief of Staff to the Hon Wayne Goss, the Queensland Opposition Leader, contributing to Mr Goss being elected Premier the following year. After serving as Director-General of the Queensland Cabinet Office and returning to business, primarily as the Senior China Consultant for KPMG Australia, in 1998 Mr Rudd successfully contested the House of Representatives seat of Griffith, to which he has been re-elected in subsequent elections. Following the 2001 election, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, later adding responsibilities for International Security in 2003 and Trade in 2005. In 2006 Mr Rudd was elected Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition and, with the ALP’s victory at the November 2007 Federal Election, he went on to serve as Australia's 26th Prime Minister until June 2010. Mr Rudd is one of the 19 members of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.
Policy Analyst, Asia at the UN Millennium Campaign’s Asia Regional Office, Ms Chanchai has written extensively on the MDGs in Asia, with an emphasis on issues related to governance, inequality, gender and social inclusion. She led the compilation of case studies on progress and challenges in Asia prepared for the UN High Level Events on the MDGs in New York in September 2008 and advocates for the MDGs within the UN system and with external partners.