Awista has served as an advisory council member and contributor to espnw.com and has written extensively about issues pertaining to Muslim women in sports. She was named one of 32 “women who will change the way sports are played” in ESPN The Magazine’s Title IX’s 40th-anniversary issue.
Prior to joining New America, Awista worked as the director of South Asia programs at Seeds of Peace and was based in Mumbai, India with extensive travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan. She also worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. as the education and health officer.
In 2004, Awista founded Afghanistan’s first girl’s soccer team; a program that was featured on ESPN as a recipient of the 2006 ESPY’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Her media appearances include ABC News (Person of the Week), NPR, ESPN, Glamour Magazine, CNN, New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washingtonian, and USA Today.
She received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Rochester, and her M.P.A. from the University of Delaware.