CEO of Malala Fund to deliver 2014 MSU convocation lecture


BOZEMAN, Mont. - From the MSU News Service:

Shiza Shahid, the co-founder and CEO of the Malala Fund who has been recognized as one of the top leaders of her generation, will speak at Montana State University's 2014 Freshmen Convocation, scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.  "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" is the 2014 MSU freshmen book selection.

"I Am Malala" is an international bestselling memoir written by Malala Yousafzai, 16, Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Malala survived an assassination attempt on her life last year because of her desire to go to school. She and her family now live in England.

Shahid, 24, is known as Malala's "right-hand woman." She has been named to both TIME and Forbes magazines' "30 Under 30" lists, which recognize young adults already changing the world. She has also been profiled in Entrepreneur magazine.

Also a native of Islamabad, Pakistan, which is about 200 miles from Malala's hometown, Shahid met Malala when Shahid was a student at Stanford University. Shahid had read about Malala's blogging and advocacy for educational rights for Pakistani girls and women, and set up a summer camp for Malala and 30 other young Pakistani female activists who were fighting for their right to go to school.

Since the camp, Shahid has been Malala's mentor and friend. Shahid graduated from Stanford in 2011 and was an analyst for McKinsey and Company in Dubai when Malala was shot in the head by a terrorist.  Shahid flew to London and helped Malala's family by helping manage the media blitz and growing global interest in Malala and her story.

Malala, her family and Shahid came up with the idea to establish a fund in Malala's name that would be used to educate girls and women.

As CEO of the Malala Fund, Shahid runs the day-to-day operations of the New York City-based nonprofit that is devoted to getting access to education for girls all over the world. To date, the fund has received grants of $400,000, half from the World Bank and half from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

"This year's convocation will be electifying as we celebrate youthful champions who are already making a difference - who fully appreciate the value of access to education, and show valor in defending it," said MSU Provost Martha Potvin.

MSU's freshman convocation is the formal welcoming of its incoming class where the university focuses attention on academic affairs. It shows the support of the university and community to help the new students reach their goal of becoming the graduating class of 2018.

Shahid's lecture will be MSU's eighth freshman convocation.  This year's freshmen convocation will take place on the night of the first day of classes of the 2014 fall semester.

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