Born and raised in Kabul, Shabana graduated magna cum laude in International Studies and Women & Gender Studies from Middlebury College in 2011. While still in college, Shabana co-founded the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), her nation’s first and only all-girls boarding school. Shabana has served as the National Gender Mainstreaming Advisor at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development’s National Solidarity Program in Kabul but left the position in 2012 to focus on SOLA full time as the school’s president. Shabana is a global ambassador for Girl Rising, a call to action seeking investment in girls’ education worldwide. She received the Malalai Medal, one of Afghanistan’s highest national honors, in 2018; is the holder of two honorary doctorates (SOAS University of London, 2016; Cedar Crest College, 2019); and in 2019 was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list as a social entrepreneur.