Before the collapse of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, Shaqaiq Birashk was a Policy Advisor on a USAID funded project with the President’s Special Envoy for Pakistan Affairs’ office in Kabul. She was in kindergarten when she left Kabul in 1989 and grew up in Denver, Colorado. Prior to moving to Afghanistan, Birashk was the Assistant Director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
Birashk visited Kabul in 2015, while with Brookings Institution, for a 2 weeks exploratory trip to reconnect with the country and its people as an adult. After her short trip, she moved to Afghanistan to help in the development of the country. Given that nearly 70% of Afghanistan’s population are youth, she helped launch a youth empowerment nonprofit called Afghanistan Youth TV and led the organization for nearly two and a half years.
Before moving to D.C., a place she believed would connect her to a global world and network, Birashk was the Assistant Director of Programs at the Auraria Higher Education Center, a campus that housed three higher education institutions, in Denver, Colorado.
Birashk is a graduate of University of Colorado Denver where she obtained a Masters of Public Administration with a dual concentration on Local Government Policy and Environmental Policy. Her BA is in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.