WFPG Welcomes New Executive Director!

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2021

We are pleased to announce that Shaz Akram joined the Women’s Foreign Policy Group as its new executive director. Shaz will take the helm of the organization at an important time as we emerge from the pandemic and resume our in-person programming.

“I am thrilled to welcome Shaz to the WFPG team. Shaz has the passion and experience to build upon the incredible foundation Kim has so tirelessly created,” expressed Kristi Rogers, WFPG Board Co-Chair.

Shaz AkramShaz brings a wealth of experience in program development, nonprofit management, international education and foreign affairs. Before joining the WFPG, Shaz served as deputy director of the Fulbright Association, where she led operations and programs like the Fulbright prize that recently honored Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany. In her decade-long work at the Association, Shaz heightened engagement within the Fulbright and larger international community. She led growth of chapters, tripled institutional membership and corporate sponsorships; developed the Fulbright Young Professional Network introducing career counselling and social innovation projects; multiplied organizational communication capacity; and diversified and expanded event programming. 

Shaz, a  Nigerian-born Pakistani, began her career working for the civil services in Pakistan before moving to the US. Destined for a career in public service and international affairs, Shaz has built an impressive network of foreign leaders, diplomats and connections within the higher education  and non-profit world in the US. As a true  internationalist she looks forward to advancing the foreign policy agenda and mission of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the WFPG and inspire future generations of women to shatter the foreign policy glass ceiling. I look forward to serving and expanding our committed membership.” Read her bio

We would also like to extend our sincerest appreciation to Kim Kahnhauser Freeman for all her work in her 15 years with the organization and especially for her extraordinary leadership, creativity and resourcefulness during the pandemic and the transition from the founder. “Kim leaves the organization on strong footing and well-positioned for growth,” said WFPG Board Co-Chair Lois Romano. “We are very grateful to her.”

During her tenure as executive director, she hosted numerous global issues discussions, expanded the WFPG’s mentoring program, and launched its Young Professional Network and its virtual professional development series. Kim has been deeply committed to the WFPG’s mission of amplifying women’s voices, diversifying the leadership pipeline, and supporting women at every stage of their careers. We are thrilled that Kim will continue to be part of our team from Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan as a senior advisor.

Please join us in welcoming Shaz to our team and thanking Kim for her service.

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Kim Kahnhauser Freeman

The Women's Foreign Policy Group is a non-partisan membership organization committed to promoting women's leadership and voices in international affairs through our in-depth policy discussions and mentoring activities. We believe that by highlighting women leaders and amplifying their voices, we provide important role models for the next generation and expand the foreign policy dialogue across political divides and across generations. The organization also connects women across sectors, creating a vital network of women with diverse backgrounds and experience.

Contact: Megan Darlington, [email protected]