First Plenary Speaker Announced for NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference: Shiza Shahid, Cofounder and Ambassador of the Malala Fund



Rebecca Morgan,, 202.495.2553
Katie O'Connell,, 202.495.2559

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2014 – Shiza Shahid, cofounder and ambassador of the Malala Fund, is the first publicly announced plenary speaker of NAFSA: Association of International Educators' 2015 Annual Conference and Expo. She was recently named one of TIME magazine's "30 Under 30 World Changers" and to the Forbes "30 Under 30″ list of social entrepreneurs. The Malala Fund was established to support the global work of recently announced Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, to amplify the voices of girls throughout the world and to advocate for access to quality education for all girls.

"International education is critical to fighting global poverty. When women and girls are given equal access to education, we all benefit," explained Shahid. "International education and exchanges are such compelling foreign-policy tools to foster the kind of shared experience needed for a more peaceful world. I am honored to speak at NAFSA's annual conference and be with the thousands of educational professionals who are making such an important contribution to citizen diplomacy."

Shahid has built a reputation as a social activist. A citizen of Pakistan, Shahid volunteered her time as a youth at a relief camp for victims of a devastating earthquake and in women's prisons. While attending Stanford University, she advocated for the right to education for young Pakistani girls and established an educational camp for girls in Islamabad. Following graduation, Shahid was a business analyst at McKinsey & Company in the Middle East prior to her current role with the Malala Fund.

"NAFSA believes that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by peace, security and well-being for all," said Marlene M. Johnson, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. "Accomplished and thought-provoking speakers like Shiza Shahid serve to inspire our global community and empower them to take action."

Shahid will address advocating for girls' rights to educational access at the NAFSA conference on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Boston. Learn more about the speakers as they are announced att

About the Conference
NAFSA's 67th Annual Conference and Expo is the world's largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators, and features more than 200 sessions and workshops focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange with dozens of pre-conference workshops. It will be held in Boston, May 26-29, 2015.

A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, which features over 400 exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world including colleges and universities, study abroad and intensive-English programs, embassies and government agencies, and more. The conference theme for 2015 is "New Horizons in International Education."

Learn more at

With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit

About the Malala Fund
The Malala Fund is focused on helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education. The Malala Fund is the organization representing Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for her campaign for girls' education. Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, making her the youngest ever peace prize winner.