Welcome to our new Executive Director!

Sahar is thrilled to introduce our new Executive Director, Malahat. Born and raised in Afghanistan, Malahat is drawn to mission oriented and community focused organizations like Sahar. She brings experience in the international development and business sectors working at both private and non-profit organizations. Her previous work includes efforts to advance educational opportunities for girls, women’s rights and empowerment, disability health, and management and acquisition of development projects. Malahat first worked with Sahar as a fellow in 2016. 

Malahat holds a dual masters degree in Sustainable International Development, and Global Health Policy and Management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Prior to joining Sahar as an Executive Director, Malahat worked as a business development manager with Moore Afghanistan, a consulting company based in Kabul.

As Executive Director, Malahat is eager to continue her work to empower and inspire girls by removing barriers to accessing education. Sahar is excited to embark on this new chapter as we continue to provide educational opportunities for our students, guided by Malahat’s vision for the future of young Afghan women and girls. 

We would like to take this opportunity to express enormous gratitude to Ginna Brelsford. Over her ten years as Sahar’s Executive Director, she expanded the organization, implemented our Afghan fellows program along with our other flagship programs, and led the construction of the beautiful Gowhar Khatoon School. Without her leadership, strategic vision, passion for our mission, and persistence, Sahar would not be where we are today. Please join me in welcoming Malahat to Sahar. We look forward to your continued support of Sahar and the women and girls we serve. 


Catherine Gelband, Board President