Contact Us

Mahveen Azam
Program Manager

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

Back to top

Council Organization

The US-Pakistan Women’s Council is a partnership established and led by the US State Department and American University in cooperation with the Pakistani diaspora, corporate members, Pakistani and US diplomatic missions, Friends of the Council, and university partners in both countries.

The Executive Committee reviews progress and determines policy in consultation with Friends of the Council, corporate members, and other stakeholders.


  • Cornelius M. Kerwin
    Council Co-Chair
    President, American University
  • Ambassador Catherine Russell
    Council Co-Chair
    Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, US Department of State
  • James Goldgeier
    Dean, School of International Service, American University
  • Jonathan Carpenter
    Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, US Department of State
  • Esperanza Jelalian
    President, US Pakistan Business Council
  • Nabeela Khatak
    Board Member, Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America, DC Chapter
  • Melanie Bixby
    Council Executive Director, Detailed to American University from the US Department of State

Friends of the Council conduct conferences for women in corporate leadership positions that draw corporate executives and stakeholders.

Active Friends

Active Friends of the Council provide ongoing guidance, feedback, and assistance with the Council's initiatives and activities.

  • Syeda Henna Babar Ali
  • Sadaffe Abid
  • Sabeen Haque
  • Dr. Saqib Rizavi
  • Farida Rokadia
  • Saulat Salahuddin
  • Dr. Misbah Tanveer Choudhry
  • Murtaza Zaidi

Honorary Friends

  • Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
    Ambassador to the United States, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • Shaista Mahmood
  • Anita McBride
    Executive-in-Residence, School of Public Affairs, American University
  • Ambassador Sherry Rehman
    Founding Chair, Jinnah Institute
  • Robina Ather
    Member, National Tariff Commission
  • Saadia Zahidi
    Member, Executive Committee and Head of Education, Gender and Work, World Economic Forum

Lasting Friends

Lasting Friends of the Council include former Active and Honorary Friends who are recognized for their continued support.

  • Nilofer Saeed
  • Yasmin Hyder
  • Riffat Chughtai
  • Aakif Ahmad
  • Ambassador Jalil Jilani

Become a Corporate Member

The US-Pakistan Women's Council is led through a partnership between the US Department of State and American University with public and private members located in both the US and Pakistan. Our members join the Council in its mission to increase women's economic participation in Pakistan and thus help Pakistan reach its potential for economic growth and global competitiveness.

Membership Benefits

  1. Promotion through our network and social media of member opportunities, initiatives and achievements. Our network includes the State Department and public Pakistani entities, American University and other education institutions, the U.S. and Pakistan embassies, and private corporations and nonprofit organizations in the United States and Pakistan;
  2. Events that showcase member activities that empower women economically, and that facilitate networking and best practices on such issues;
  3. And information received through the Council's network concerning qualified, high potential candidates able to compete for internship, job and procurement opportunities or to participate in member sponsored women's empowerment initiatives.

Membership Commitments

Members will

  1. Allow the Council to actively promote information about member opportunities; and allow members of our network to refer qualified candidates able to successfully compete for, that member's opportunities and initiatives;
  2. Assume all operational costs and responsibility for that member's opportunities and initiatives;
  3. Track and report Council-facilitated gender initiative impacts on a semiannual basis to inform Council-wide impact reporting;
  4. Ensure compliance with the 2010 sexual harassment law in Pakistan;
  5. Participate in Council events to share best practices;
  6. And designate a contact to coordinate with the Council.

Membership Qualifications

Members must be

  1. A registered company/foundation/institution;
  2. With existing economic empowerment opportunities for which Pakistani women are considered (internships, employment and/or procurement bidding opportunities), or a commitment to create such opportunities;
  3. Existing initiatives that assist women's economic participation, or a commitment to create such initiatives.
  4. Based in either the United States or Pakistan.

Join the Student Chapter

The US-Pakistan Women's Council Student Chapter promotes discourse with the American University community about the challenges of Pakistani women seeking economic empowerment. By bringing dynamic Pakistani experts to campus through Chai Chats, movie screenings, and the student mentorship program, the chapter creates meaningful dialogue and conveys the importance of US-Pakistan bilateral relationships on American University's campus.

Drinking tea is an important part of Pakistani culture, and many conversations occur over a traditional cup of black chai with biscuits or cookies. Each Chai Talk session features change makers who speak to the AU community about their work over a cup of tea. Guests are invited to speak about their careers and journeys into entrepreneurship, public policy, social work, or business.

To get involved, email the US-Pakistan Women's Council Student Chapter at or visit our Facebook page.

The US-Pakistan Women's Council Student Chapter seeks to build relationships between students at AU and in Pakistan through a mentorship program. We partner with schools and colleges in Pakistan and develop mentor/mentee relationships between students. We hope to impact female students positively by helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. We aim to:

  • Build mentor/mentee relationships between female students in Pakistan and at AU;
  • Create dialogue and cultural understanding between Pakistani and AU students;
  • Create partnerships with educational and professional institutions between the US and Pakistan;
  • Assist students with school-related concerns;
  • Provide professional and career advice to students;
  • Assist with the editing and proofing of job, internship, or higher education applications;
  • Provide resume building tips; and
  • Inform students about career and job opportunities.

To get involved, email the US-Pakistan Women's Council Student Chapter at or visit our Facebook page.

Email the US-Pakistan Women's Council Student Chapter at or visit our Facebook page.