Leadership on Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights: Rina Amiri and Stephenie Foster Lead Way

By Race Opell

Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State has announced the appointments of two highly qualified and respected leaders who will work to advance the State Department’s vital work to support Afghan women, girls, and human rights: Special Envoy Rina Amiri and Senior Advisor Stephenie Foster.  They bring decades of public policy, diplomatic, and advocacy experience to the Department.

“I welcome Rina Amiri back to the Department as the Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, with her breadth and depth of expertise and strong track record advising governments, the United Nations, peacebuilding organizations, and think tanks,” Blinken said. “As Special Envoy, she will work on issues of critical importance to me, this Administration, and U.S. national security: the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, girls, and other at-risk populations in all of their diversity.  We desire a peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan, where all Afghans can live and thrive in political, economic, and social inclusivity.  Special Envoy Amiri will work closely with metoward that goal.”

Blinken noted Special Envoy Amiri’s important work will be complemented by the contributions of Stephenie Foster, the new Senior Advisor for Women and Girls Issues within the Department’s Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts (CARE) team. 

“Stephenie’s diverse public and private sector experiences, including at the Department, and her passion for advancing women and girls’ safety and equality will help advance CARE’s around-the-clock relocation and resettlement efforts on behalf of our Afghan allies and their families,” Blinken said.

Special Envoy Rina Amiri is an Afghan-born American scholar and mediator who worked at the State Department under former President Barack Obama.

Senior Advisor Stephenie Foster’s focus will be centered on relocating Afghans that were evacuated from the country. 

“I welcome Rina and Stephenie back to the Department and look forward to their contributions to this work of vital importance,” he concluded.


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