Lina Tori Jan is a social entrepreneur, international public speaker, and advocate for equality and human rights, with a focus on the rights of women, girls, and refugees. Shaped by her experiences as a woman raised in Kabul and as a survivor of violence, Lina has worked with companies, NGOs, and governments, assisting in their efforts to create a more just society. Through roles with the International Rescue Committee, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Women for Women International, she has held and taught literacy classes for Afghan women and girls, assisted newly arrived refugees and immigrants with cultural adjustment, served the formerly incarcerated through restoring their civil rights, and conducted research to help those fleeing persecution and violence.
Lina is the Founder and Executive Director of Chai wa Dastan, an award-winning initiative aimed at sharing stories and lessons of empowerment, resilience, and leadership, through the revitalization of the oral tradition of storytelling. She also serves as a Cultural Expertise Advisor on the Interim Board for Team America Relief—an organization that assists in the evacuation of vulnerable people from Afghanistan—and is the Afghanistan Project Coordinator with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
As a member of a persecuted ethnic minority, Lina grew up in hiding during the first Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In August 2021, Lina worked non-stop for two weeks to help her family escape from Kabul, building an international coalition of support, involving hundreds of people ranging from members of the US State Department and Congress to private security and leading academics.
Lina holds a B.A. in Leadership Studies and Political Science from the University of Richmond and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford. Lina and her work have been featured by numerous media organizations, including the BBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, and NBC’s The Today Show.
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