- Program Year
- Country of Current Residence
- Current Position
- Advocacy, Communications (including media), Government, Women's rights
- Interest(s) / Expertise
- emergency Relief, empowerment of women, refugees, sociology
Laila is from Pakistan, where she received a BA from Lahore College, and an MA in Sociology from the University of Peshawar. She also holds an M.Sc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Recently, Laila got promoted to head the department for government relations, advocacy and communications at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Pakistan. Through advocacy and communications, she hopes to raise awareness about the plight of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, long-term development and reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas and other humanitarian concerns. Before this she was the Assistant Emergency Coordinator, working to provide reconstruction and rehabilitation in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake. She also doubled-up as the IRC’s Acting Media/Communications Officer, handling interviews with CNN, BBC, The Times of London, and other major news sources.
Laila began working for the IRC in 2004, as the Project Manager of the Women Empowerment Project, in Peshawar, which focused on the mental and physical well-being of Afghan women in four refugee camps. When a major earthquake devastated remote parts of Pakistan on 8 October 2005, Laila became leader of the first IRC emergency response team – and the first female – deployed to the affected region within 24 hours, providing relief that ranged from psychosocial support to shelter and first aid treatment. “In Pakistan,” writes her IRC supervisor, “It is not easy for females to lead in the public sphere but Ms. Khan demonstrates her ability tirelessly. Her motivation to serve helps her overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.”