Ms. Yalda Royan is an Afghan women’s rights activist and senior development professional with extensive leadership experience in national and international NGOs. She has spearheaded women’s rights initiatives in Afghanistan where she sought to advance women’s political, economic and social participation. When she was evacuated to the United States in August 2021, she was working as a consultant for the World Bank to respond to issues of gender-based violence in the public health sector. Currently, she works at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at NOVA Community College and is the Afghanistan Country Team Lead for VOICE Amplified. She is also a founding member of the Afghan Women’s Advocacy Group. Ms. Royan recently published an op-ed in Newsweek following the Taliban's backtracking on promises of girls' education. She has vast expertise in designing and leading gender initiatives across women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, conflict resolution, and peace and security, and holds a master's degree in gender and women's studies from Kabul University.