The AWWP Board

  Masha Hamilton, Interim Board President, is the author of five acclaimed novels, most recently “What Changes Everything.” In October 2013, she finished 16 months working in Afghanistan as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy at the US Embassy. She is currently Vice President of Communications for Concern Worldwide. Masha is founder of both the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and the Camel Book Drive, and is the winner of the 2010 Women’s National Book Association award. She began her career as a full-time journalist, working in Maine, Indiana, and New York City before being sent by the Associated Press to the Middle East, where she was news editor for five years, including the period of the first intefadeh, and then moving to Moscow, where she worked for five years during the collapse of Communism, reporting for the Los Angeles Times and NBC-Mutual Radio and writing a monthly column, “Postcards from Moscow.” She also reported from Kenya in 2006, and from Afghanistan in 2004 and 2008. 
Barbara Burtin, Treasurer and co-chair of the Fundraising Committee, is an investment analyst at Capital World Investors. She brings to AWWP a variety of international nonprofit and business experiences including entrepreneurship, management consulting, and business development. Barbara is French and speaks four languages.
Kimberley Heart, chair of Board Development Committee, is a nationally recognized business consultant with more than 25 years of experience. Her focus is in the areas of crisis management, re-organization, and succession planning. She is also a well renowned speaker, hosts the popular talk radio show Business with Heart, and is a published author and expert commentator for ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Alaha Ahrar is currently one of the Directors of International World Poetry, Canada, on the Board of Directors for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP), and a writer for Peace X Peace Organization, Washington, DC. Alaha graduated from University of Mary Washington with a triple major in Human Rights, Political Science, and International Affairs; she also completed a certificate program in Middle Eastern Studies. She is multilingual and has excellent computer skills. She has had numerous certificates, such as Certificate of Appreciation in 2013 from Diplomatic Language Services (DLS), Arlington, Virginia; Certificate of Recognition in 2012 from the Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington; and Certificate of Excellence and Dedication in 2012 by The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, USA. She is a poet and writer and was awarded the Best Poet of the Year 2011 for Afghanistan and the United States in Canada. She was also appointed as the Ambassador of Youth and Peace for Afghanistan in 2011. She is interested in human rights, politics, international relations development, poetry, and public speaking.
Meg Cameron is an English teacher in Arlington, Virginia. She was drawn to AWWP through including the work of AWWP writers in her lessons in order to create an authentic learning environment. One of the tenets of her teaching is being able to cultivate sensitivity toward other cultures through exposing students to opportunities where they can do their part to change the world. Besides her work with AWWP, she is president of DC Connect, a charity in the Washington, DC area that hosts social get-togethers as a way to support small non-profit organizations. Originally from Rhode Island, Meg received her Bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College and her Master’s in Education from Virginia Tech.
Shevy Smith is a producer/composer based in Topanga, CA. She is currently working on projects for Kendall Custer, Arrowhead the Band, and various TV/Film and promotional productions. She is the creator and owner of the Forte Poesy Music program, which places an emphasis on songwriting as the catalyst for learning an instrument. She has toured extensively in the United States and abroad and was part of the Sgt. Maj. of the Army/United Service Organizations Inc. Christmas Tours to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. As composer and producer for ABC’s “Carly” campaign, Shevy was a ProMax Gold winner and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014.



  1. Brenda Brown says:


    I just discovered this site last night after watching the Honor Diaries and looking at the official website. I am very very interested in Afghanistan, esp the women. I have a MS in Nursing Education and am a doctoral student at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. My dissertation work is going to focus on the nursing education at one school in Kabul. I’ve made 2 trips to Afghanistan to visit nursing schools and hospitals and also interact with the people.

    So I would really love to serve on one of the boards or councils for this organization. My husband, who has a PhD in clinical anatomy and teaches in a DO program made the first visit to Afghanistan with me. On my 2nd visit last August Dr. Dauran, our host and the medical director of the Family Health Organization of Afghanistan and the Wardak Provincial Hospital, came with me to the US for 2 weeks. My husband and I are now members of the board of the FHO. I’ve been trying to work on my own to spark interest and find funding and other resources for the Asia Medical Institute (the healthcare school that is part of the FHO).

    I hope to hear from someone and look forward to helping in some way.
    Brenda Brown, RN, BSN, MS, CNE

Speak Your Mind