Khalida Brohi named inaugural Buffett Award winner

October 18, 2015

Buffett Award winner Khalida BrohiThe Buffett Institute is thrilled to announce that the winner of the inaugural Buffett Institute Award for Emerging Global Leaders is Khalida Brohi, 26-year-old social entrepreneur and global activist.

Khalida is the founder of Sughar Empowerment Society (known as Sughar), a nonprofit organization that provides socioeconomic opportunities to rural and tribal women of Pakistan.

Made possible by Roberta Buffett Elliott’s recent gift to Northwestern, the $10,000 Buffett Award recognizes outstanding leadership in a person early in her career working in the areas of global health, social or economic development, human rights, climate change, food security, or other issues of global significance.

“The Buffett Award was established to recognize and energize the accomplishments of young global leaders like Khalida,” says Bruce Carruthers, director of the Buffett Institute. “In honoring her achievements, we want to encourage her and other young leaders like her to continue their important work.”

The Buffett Award winner is chosen by Northwestern undergraduate students. Members of the Buffett Institute’s Undergraduate Affiliate Program voted for their choice at the beginning of the fall quarter. Khalida was announced the winner at the Buffett Institute’s annual alumni breakfast on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

“Khalida’s courage and approach to empowering the confidence and skills of Pakistani women through socio-economic development and education in enterprise clearly resonates with the Northwestern community, as she received enormous support from our Buffett Undergraduate Affiliate voters,” says Emory Erker-Lynch, the Buffett Institute’s manager of undergraduate initiatives.

Khalida will come to Northwestern in April 2016 to give a public address to the Northwestern community and accept her award. The event will be an extraordinary opportunity for Northwestern undergraduates interested in social issues and international development, according to Carruthers: “In bringing Buffett Award winners like Khalida to campus, we will build links between the Northwestern community and a group of very special people who are still at the earliest, and in some ways most exciting, stages of their careers.”

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About Buffett Award Winner Khalida Brohi

Belonging to the Balochistan province of Pakistan, Khalida has lived her life surrounded by beautiful traditions and rich cultures. However, amidst this beauty, she has witnessed the harshness of cultural restrictions on women that deprive them of decision-making powers and can lead to domestic violence.

Khalida launched Sughar in 2009 to fight against such customs and restrictions on women. She declared the word "Sughar," meaning skilled and confident woman, ought to be used for every single woman in Pakistan, as each one of them has the skills and confidence to help them succeed. The Sughar Empowerment Society offers a vast number of opportunities for these women, including resources to create and sustain rural, woman-owned businesses.

With the successful launch of Sughar, Khalida’s plans for the next 10 years are to change the lives of one million women in Pakistan. She has been named among Newsweek’s “25 under 25 Women of Impact” as well as one of Newsweek’s “100 Women Who Matter in Pakistan.” She was awarded the Woman of Impact Award by Women in the World Foundation, Women Excellence Award by National Government of Pakistan, Young Champion Award by University of Singapore, and The Unreasonable Institute Fellowship Award.

Along with her roles as social entrepreneur and activist, she is the sister of eight siblings and a practicing Sufi.

Human Rights, Middle East