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AUAF Valedictorian of Class 2014 Moderates a Conversation between Two First Ladies of the United States

On September 21, 2015, the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) Valedictorian of class 2014, Onaba Payab, moderated a panel discussion with United States current First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama and Former First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, at Global Women's Network, a Summit of Ideas, Innovation and Partnerships, in Dallas, Texas.

Hosted by the President and Mrs. George W. Bush and the George W. Bush Institute, the Summit brought leading experts to have a dialogue with First Ladies from around the world and global leaders about interventions and innovations that are improving Women's education, economic opportunities, and health.

The Summit includes a discussion between Mrs. Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush on the unique role of a First Lady in advancing important gender issues. Onaba was invited to participate as the moderator of this discussion to guide the dialogue towards actionable solutions.

"This convening is important for women in my country because it shows that there are people who care about them," Said Ms. Payab" It helps with sustainability of women’s rights progress in countries like Afghanistan."

At the Summit, participants had the opportunity to network with private corporations and NGOs to foster relationships with public and private partners.

Onaba also commenced the International Public Service Award dinner by sharing her life story with the audience. The dinner was hosted by the Friends of the American university of Afghanistan, held in New York.

"Hundreds of girls and boys continue to benefit from AUAF’s presence in Afghanistan. AUAF trained girls have proven that women are capable and this is so important in a country like Afghanistan, where women are considered inferior," she said.

Onaba Payab is currently working as a Communications Officer at AUAF. She has been awarded Fulbright scholarship 2016-2017 to pursue her Master's in Public Policy focused on Good Governance.