NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 - Afghan media mogul and entrepreneur Saad Mohseni; Aarya Nijat, Vice President and Co-Founder, Beikraan Inc.; and Faiysal AliKhan, Carnegie Fellow at the New America Foundation, talk to Asia Society Trustee Tom Freston about how the current generation of Afghanistan youth is working to rewrite expectations of their country's future. (1 hr., 25 min.)
Faiysal AliKhan is the co-founder and CEO of the Foundation for Integrated Development Action (www.fidapk.org), a non-profit organization in Pakistan. He is also the executive director of the PESCO Group and of Ariba Celcom, which are involved in trading, critical communications, security, transportation and contract logistics. He is a member of the Pakistan International Chamber of Commerce and has chaired their Customs and Trade Regulation Commission and continues to remain involved in trade facilitation in the region.
He has served on the boards of SHV Energy and DHL Pakistan, and is currently serving on the board of the Rural Support Programmes Network (www.rspn.org) and is an active member of a number of their steering committees.
He has spoken on issues of national security, development, and trade at a number of think tank and government offices around the world, including a recent conference at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. He has also facilitated workshops at the Center for Reconstruction and Stabilization Studies at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and was part of an Indo-Pak dialogue arranged by the New America Foundation.
He was nominated for the National Defence University, Islamabad in 2009 and is a graduate of their National Security Workshop. He is also an associate fellow of the Asia Society, through which he is a regular commenter in the international media.
Tom Freston is a Principal of Firefly3, an investment and consultancy firm focusing on the media and entertainment industries. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Viacom Inc., where he also served as Chief Operating Officer. For seventeen years, Mr. Freston was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, and other networks.
Prior to that, Mr. Freston ran a textile business in Afghanistan and India. Currently, he is Board Chairman of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization to fight extreme poverty and serves on the boards of DreamWorks Animation, Moby Media in Afghanistan, Vice Media in New York and is also a Trustee of The Asia Society. He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2005 Mr. Freston was cited in the TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" issue. He has received many industry honors and awards. Mr. Freston writes a monthly travel column "On the Road" for Vanity Fair.
Saad Mohseni is Chairman and Chief Executive of MOBY GROUP. Saad has an extensive background in investment banking, equities, and financial markets in Australia and Europe. Prior to establishing MOBY GROUP, Saad headed the Equities and Corporate Finance Division at one of Australia's leading investment banks. He was born in the United Kingdom as one of four children of an Afghan diplomat. He spent his early years in Kabul, Islamabad, and Tokyo before emigrating to Melbourne, Australia.
Saad served as an Economic Advisor to the Afghan government from 2002 to 2004, where he assisted in the development of the Afghan Investment Support Agency, Industrial Parks Commission, and the High Commission for Investment.
In 2011, Time Magazine recognized him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2013, Foreign Policy magazine recognized him as one of their 100 Global Thinkers.
Tom Nagorski became Executive Vice President of the Asia Society following a three-decade career in journalism — having served most recently as Managing Editor for International Coverage at ABC News. Before that he was Foreign Editor for World News Tonight, and a reporter and producer based in Russia, Germany and Thailand. Nagorski was the recipient of eight Emmy awards and the Dupont Award for excellence in international coverage, as well as a fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation. He has written for several publications and is the author of Miracles on the Water: The Heroic Survivors of a World War II U-Boat Attack.
Aarya Nijat is a Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Beikraan Inc. In her role as Acting-Policy Director with the Government of Afghanistan, she extensively contributed to the development of the country's first ever sub-national governance policy, now orienting local governance legal reform and governing the working of all provinces, districts and municipalities across Afghanistan.
Most recently, she served as Director Capacity and Institutional Development at the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), where she pioneered Afghanistan's first-ever Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, applicable to over more than 14,000 civil servants.
Trained in adaptive leadership framework, Nijat has served on the Harvard Kennedy School teaching team twice. A Fulbright Scholar and a Mary Boies Fellow, she holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Master's in International Relations, and dual undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Law from Quaid-i-Azam and Punjab universities. She specializes in policy development, strategic planning, governance, political analysis, gender and leadership capacity development.