Basirullah handles Sayara’s global human-resource management systems, vendors, travel, visas, and work permits. He also supports start-up activities in new countries. Before moving to the United States, Basirullah was employed by Sayara, for over a decade, in Kabul. He also worked for the International Rescue Committee and USAID in Afghanistan.
Basirullah studied Political Science at the American University of Afghanistan. He speaks English, Pashto, Dari, Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.
Kachi brings a modern aesthetic approach to Sayara’s reports, videos, and infographics. Before joining Sayara, she worked as a design contractor for US government agencies and major companies such as Sony and Lenovo. Kachi has also designed videos for Emmy Award winners and continues to consult for high-profile clientele as a Brand Image Expert. Her background in science, mathematics, and marketing has fine-tuned an uncommon attention to details that helps her craft an authoritative design presence. Kachi holds an MBA in Marketing and Operations Management.
Based in Beirut, Zena ensures quality control of Sayara’s projects through technical and financial oversight. She also helps implement research, MEL, and social cohesion initiatives. She is an expert in administering assistance programs to vulnerable and at-risk populations, particularly Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the surrounding region. She has worked in the private sector and for the US government, European Union, and UN agencies. Prior to joining Sayara, Zena served as a communications officer for the USAID-funded Developing Rehabilitation Assistance to Schools and Teacher Improvement Program and Lebanon Value Chain Development Programs.
Zena hold a BA in Communication Arts, with a minor in Economics, from the Lebanese American University, and an MBA from the University of Florida. She speaks English and Arabic.
Victoire focuses on human security issues in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and East Africa. She designs methodologies for some of Sayara’s most complex studies, finds data-management solutions for multi-country programs, coordinates data collection in unstable environments, and leads mixed-methods analyses that inform humanitarian and development policy and programming. Victoire has an extensive background in researching issues related to migration for UN agencies, the European Union, and international NGOs. Before joining Sayara, she conducted research for IOM in Mauritania and for UNRWA in Jordan.
Victoire holds an MA and BA in Social and Political Sciences from Science Po Paris. She also holds and MA in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the Paris II Assas University and an MPhil in International Relations (Security and Defense) from the University of Lyon III. Victoire is fluent in French and English, proficient in German, and intermediate in Arabic.
Talha is responsible for managing Sayara’s project portfolio in Pakistan. He is a strategic communications expert with over seven years of experience in digital media and dissemination for youth-targeted campaigns and social-media outreach. He has worked for a range of government agencies, international donors, and media outlets, including the Government of Pakistan, British High Commission, European Union, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, VICE, The Guardian, MSNBC, and Now This.
Talha holds an MA in Film and a BA in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. He speaks English, Urdu, and Punjabi.
Sarah is particularly interested in ethnic and civil conflict and human security issues. She works on both communications and research projects in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Central America, focusing on CVE, governance, migration, gender equality, and education. Previously, she was a Program Associate for the United Nations of Minnesota Global Classrooms program. From 2013 to 2015, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, where she taught English for Livelihoods in Cartagena.
Sarah holds an MA from Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program, with a concentration in Terrorism and Sub-State Violence, and a BA in International Relations, with a Certificate in Conflict Studies, from Hamline University, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She speaks English, intermediate Spanish, and basic Dari.
Sameera provides support in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis for Sayara’s projects in the Middle East. Her work focuses on the humanitarian response to the Syria Crisis, child protection, and education programming. Previously, Sameera worked on projects related to migration, gender, and development in Central Asia. From 2016 to 2017, she was a US State Department Fulbright Research Grantee in Kazakhstan.
Sameera has a BA in Geography and Global Studies from the University of Vermont.
Renee oversees the acquisition of new business at Sayara. She coordinates closely with Sayara’s field offices to identify market opportunities, design concept notes, develop white papers, form partnerships, and lead proposal strategies and processes. Renee has nearly two decades of experience providing grant, business-development, and project-management services to international development firms and non-profit organizations, including FLAG International, the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, the QED Group, International Relief and Development, and World Learning. Her areas of expertise include economic development, access-to-finance, community stabilization, CVE, and humanitarian assistance. She has managed projects throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Renee holds an MBA in International Business from George Washington University and a BA in Political Science and English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh.
Rahmatullah manages and supervises Sayara’s headquarters office program-management team. He has over a decade of experience in stabilization, community engagement, and civilian-military initiatives. Hid recent projects have focused on Islamic militancy and radical movements in Central Asia and CVE programming in the MENA region. Rahmatullah has managed and supervised over $50 million in development and stabilization projects for USAID in Afghanistan. As USAID-Afghanistan Deputy Field Program Officer for Khost Province, he oversaw the implementation of a variety of development and stabilization programs, including the Local Governance and Community Development Program and the Afghanistan Civilian Assistance Program.
Rahmatullah holds a BA in Journalism from the Afghan University in Kabul. He speaks English, Dari, Pashto, and Arabic.
Naqeeb oversees Sayara’s financial systems and manages sub-contracts. He has more than 12 years of experience in public financial management, accounting, and industrial finance. In Afghanistan, Naqeeb served as a financial advisor for the Ministry of Finance, training staff to implement the Afghanistan Financial Management Information System (AFMIS). He later worked as a financial analyst for USAID, leading the agency’s Financial Analysis and Risk Management Team.
Naqeeb holds a BA in finance from Kardan University. He is fluent in English, Dari, Pashto, Hindi, and Urdu.
Manuela oversees Sayara’s behavioral-change initiatives and business development efforts in Latin America. She designs educational communication campaigns and produces media content focused on migration, human rights, transitional justice, and the historical memory of the armed conflict in Colombia. Previously, Manuela designed communication strategies for organizations such as World Vision International, IOM, Medellín’s Mayor, University of Antioquia, and Bolivarian Pontifical University. She was also a fellow for Havas PR, in New York. Manuela has over seven years of experience working with grassroots organizations, NGOs, museums, local governments, and academia.
She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Antioquia, Colombia, and speaks fluent Spanish and English.
Lee is responsible for overseeing Sayara’s portfolio of MEL projects across South Asia and the Middle East. She has a particular focus on participatory research and evaluations, and on developing and testing innovative methodologies to ensure all research projects take a multi-voiced approach. Her experience includes leading research, monitoring, and evaluation projects for a wide variety of partners, including UN agencies, governments, international foundations, and NGOs. Lee holds an MA in International Development from the University of Melbourne. She speaks fluent English, French, and Russian, and is proficient in Pashto, Dari, and Arabic.
Laura oversees Sayara’s operations in East Africa. A US-trained attorney, she has over a decade of experience designing and managing programs to enhance human rights, good governance, and social inclusion in Africa. She has worked for several years as an independent consultant for a broad range of clients, including African governments, local and international non-governmental organizations, and large donor organizations such as USAID, the UN, and EU consortiums. Laura is passionate about research and practical interventions that enhance the social inclusion of marginalized communities such as migrants, ethnic minorities, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable groups. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, an MA in Public Health from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, and a BA from the University of Virginia. She speaks English and French.
As a program associate, Katie supports Sayara’s program portfolio and business development efforts. Prior to joining Sayara, Katie worked as a political analyst at a political action committee, where she supported communications and worked with over 65 congressional campaigns in implementing a program of collaborative politics and digital engagement. She recently completed her MA in Global Health and Public Policy. Her research and studies focused on the intersection of socioeconomic conditions, health inequalities, and human rights and the changing role of civil society in governing global health policy. Katie holds a BA in Journalism from New York University and an MSc in Global Health and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh. She speaks intermediate Italian.
Haroon oversees Sayara’s team of analysts and manages its data-collection operations in Afghanistan. With over a decade of experience coordinating MEL and mixed-method research to inform public health, rule of law, education, and community development programs, Haroon specializes in designing methodologies tailored to complex environments. He has managed and co-designed a wide variety of large-scale evaluation surveys for donors such as USAID, DFID, and the EU.
Haroon holds an MD from the University of Nangarhar, with a focus in epidemiology and biostatistics. He is currently completing an MA in Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is fluent in English, Dari, and Pashto, and proficient in Urdu and Arabic.
Alexa oversees Sayara’s research, MEL, CVE, and behavioral communications programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has particular experience managing social-cohesion initiatives that seek to counter violent extremism and enhance sub-national governance through capacity-building efforts and support to civil society. Alexa previously worked for the University of Chicago Crime Lab, where she conducted research and evaluated programming on education inequality and gang violence. Later, she worked for Women Without Borders, in Vienna, Austria, focusing on the Mothers Schools Initiative, a family-centered counter-radicalization platform that spans Europe, Africa, and Asia. Her work for Women Without Borders focused on coalition-building among families, educators, law enforcement, and government officials to support at-risk youth.
Alexa holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and is currently pursuing her MSc in International Strategy and Diplomacy at the London School of Economics. She speaks English and is proficient in French.
Jenny manages Sayara’s research and behavioral-change communication programs in Colombia. She has a background in journalism and is the co-founder of Mente Abierta, an education communication NGO in Colombia. With Sayara, Jenny contributed to the design and implementation of a migration, protection, and advocacy campaign. Jenny has over five years of experience overseeing, designing, and executing educational and behavioral-change communication strategies that support grassroots organizations, NGOs, and local government and academic institutions. These strategies have focused on the issues of human rights, historical memory, youth empowerment, and public health.
Jenny hold a BA in Journalism and a diploma in Digital Media from the University of Antioquia, in Colombia. She speaks native Spanish and is fluent in English.
George is a media and business-innovation specialist with a decade of experience working in emerging markets throughout the Middle East and North Africa. George’s private sector background has focused on developing groundbreaking media products tailored toward youth. While working for Viacom’s broadcasting arm, OSN Network (previously Showtime Networks), George helped develop the pan-Arab Axis of Evil Comedy Tour and an interactive English Premier League program that allowed Middle Eastern audiences to interact with commentators, celebrity guests, and former Premier League football players via SMS and television chat. George has also taught marketing and entrepreneurship at EMDI, in Dubai, and lectured at the Lebanese American University, in Beirut. He currently lectures at Madrid’s IE Business School.
George holds an MBA from the IE Business School and a BA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University.
Nama is a social scientist who specializes in mixed-methods data-collection in complex environments. Over the past eight years, Nama has built a global research network throughout South Asia, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. She overseas all of Sayara’s research, monitoring, and evaluation activities, which are conducted on behalf of the European Union, the U.S. Department of State, UN agencies, USAID, international NGOs and foundations, academic institutions, and a variety of other clients. Nama uses sociology and behavioral economics to inform and evaluate policies and programs that protect vulnerable groups, address transnational crime, and counter violent extremism and disinformation.
Nama holds an MA in International Relations from the Sorbonne University, in Paris, an MA in Sociology from the University of Caen, in Normandy, and a BA in Social Science from the University of Strasbourg. She is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Sorbonne and a junior fellow in the European Research Council’s Social Dynamics of Civil Wars research program.
Fareed has over fifteen years of experience designing and managing strategic communications, capacity building, and research programs for an array of donor agencies and host governments, including DoS, DoD, FCO, GIZ, UN and EU agencies. For them, Fareed leads some of our most complex programs, with an emphasis on social resilience, local governance, and community policing. In addition to overseeing a broad portfolio, Fareed manages the reporting, strategic and operational planning, and the administrative and financial policies of the company. Before joining Sayara, Fareed served as a Senior Program Manager at USAID, where he designed and managed stabilization programs whose total budgets exceeded $365 million. As a Political Advisor with the Disarmament and Reintegration Commission of Afghanistan, he led the Disarmament of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) program. Fareed also worked as a Public Information Officer with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Afghanistan where he led strategic communications and public information campaigns for Return of Voluntary Afghans (RVA), Return of Qualified Afghans (RQA) and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) programs.
Fareed holds an MA in Political Science from Balochistan University in Quetta, Pakistan.
Scott is a governance, stabilization, and communications specialist with a decade of experience in countering violent extremism and disinformation. Having worked for more than fifteen years in conflict-affected environments, in both the public and private sectors, Scott has unique insight into how mainstream media and digital platforms, as well as non-traditional means of communication, related to development and stabilization activities. After starting his career as a White House aide, Scott spent several years as a senior communications advisor to two American ambassadors in Afghanistan, where he assisted with the coordination of communication and public-diplomacy strategies for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He went on to work for USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Pakistan, specializing in the development of district-level governance and CVE strategies. Before joining Sayara, Scott also served as a communications advisor to Zain Telecommunications, in Iraq. He holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.