Class of 2019
Maryum Saifee is a Senior Strategy Advisor at the Human Rights Foundation, a network of dissidents, journalists, and activists promoting democracy in predominantly authoritarian regimes. Prior to her fellowship, Maryum served as a United States diplomat in the Middle East and South Asia with postings in Cairo, Baghdad, and Lahore.
During PLS, Saifee, as a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation, harnessed the power of storytelling to activate others in her community to take action. Through her efforts, Saifee has mobilized healthcare practitioners, human rights activists, and survivors to lobby state representatives to pass legislation to criminalize FGM in the United States. Her hope is that prevention through education, coupled with legislative bans, will ultimately end FGM in a generation.