H.E. Roya Rahmani became the first woman ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States of America on December 14, 2018. Ambassador Rahmani was born in Kabul, Afghanistan to a middle-class family in 1978. In terms of her education, she went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Software Engineering from McGill University.
Prior to assuming the role as Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Rahmani served as Afghanistan’s first woman ambassador to Indonesia and the country’s first accredited ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).During her tenure in Indonesia, she was also accredited as Afghanistan’s non-resident ambassador to Singapore. Formerly, in this role, Ambassador Rahmani solidified Afghan relations with Indonesia and the Afghan and Indonesian bilateral relationship soared to its highest since its inception in 1954. Now, Indonesia and Afghanistan have close cooperation in various areas including economics, cultural, and promoting peace and tolerance from the Islamic perspective.
H.E. Roya Rahmani joined MoFa as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister in 2011. From 2012-2016, Ambassador Rahmani served as the first Director General for Regional Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (MoFA) during which she was responsible for leading her team to manage and promote the country’s role and position in dozens of regional organizations and fora. In addition, Rahmani spearheaded the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process at MoFA where she played a key role in the conception and launch of the regional cooperation process.
Ambassador Rahmani started her official work with the Afghan government at the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, as a senior advisor for Planning and Policy in early 2011. Prior to this, she directed and managed various organizations and programs at national and international levels. From 2009-2011, she managed a program implemented in 11 countries that promoted women’s empowerment. She worked as a part-time Subject Matter Expert with the NATO Joint Forces Training Center for two years and as a consultant with: the New York Department of Education, the United Nations Secretariat in New York, the Department of Trade and International Affairs of Canada, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Women Living under Muslim Laws and other INGOs.
From 2004 – 2007, H.E. Roya Rahmani worked as the Country Director of the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development organization in Kabul and traveled around Afghanistan. In 2007, she was awarded the Best Human Rights Activist Award by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, for her work on a marriage document that secured equitable rights for the family and contributed to data collection at a national level.
She has won several awards and fellowships and is a Fulbright Scholar. Rahmani served as a member of the board of directors of many organizations, is a Musawah Advocate and a member of Munich Security Conference Young Leaders. H.E. Roya Rahmani has been featured by numerous international media and was named the People’s Ambassador in 2017 by the Tattler Indonesia.