AFH PHX is working with BASIS Scottsdale School Key Club on Cultural Orientation. THX
Why We Launched Afghan Hope Foundation
The founders of AHF have come together to utilize shared professional experience and cultural expertise to assist in the response for Afghan friends and newcomers resettling into communities across America. We are:
The foundation aims to improve lives for Afghan newcomers by increasing their access to cultural, educational, and employment opportunities to support successful integration in their host communities. We are providing practical transition advice, limited material support, and mentoring. We seek to partner with resettlement agencies and their local affiliates to offer our Afghan experience and expertise in support of successful resettlement of Afghan newcomers recently arriving into the US. AHF currently supports the Phoenix, AZ, DC/VA/MD, and Jacksonville, FL, metro areas with outreach and helping meet the material needs of recent arrivals not covered by resettlement agencies. We also are conducting outreach with the national resettlement agencies to identify other areas where we may be of service.
We established AHF to continue our work helping our Afghan friends and allies. The foundation directors have years of work and cultural experience in Afghanistan. Our directors, advisors and volunteers have extensive personal and family connections to Afghanistan and Afghan immigrants in the US.
Most of our volunteers are Afghans who arrived in the US prior to the regime change in Afghanistan in August 2021. Many are former staff to and associates of our directors. Together with their family members and personal network of other previous Afghan immigrants resettled here, they have enthusiastically responded to support the work of Afghan Hope Foundation in helping their newly arriving fellow Afghans.
We have also gathered a group of special advisors to counsel us and contribute to our mission. These advisors are truly special, offering their time and valuable perspectives to support our various activities.
AHF objectives are based on assisting newly arrived, in-bound, and critically vulnerable Afghan nationals. AHF’s primary work focuses on supporting resettlement agencies and aiding newcomers’ cultural transition and successful integration into communities across America. AHF activities are being conducted to establish long-term resettlement solutions by creating strong national and local community-level networks through online and in-person program activities.
Ms. Ramirez has over 20 years of public service experience working for national and international government agencies and organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Ms. Ramirez is an economic development senior advisor who has managed and led teams in highly visible urban and regional strategic planning programs for UN and US government agencies. In Afghanistan, the US Ambassador and USAID Mission Director appointed her to lead for US Mission’s Kabul City Initiative and Investment. While at the International Security Assistance Force- Afghanistan (ISAF), she became a Regional Economic Development Advisor under the Future Plans Directorate. She is a recognized expert in international nation-building organizations. She has provided comprehensive analysis and recommendations to senior level officials such as Ambassadors and Generals of government agencies, and international organizations for effective planning and implementation of national interest missions. Ms. Ramirez’s diplomatic and public affairs skills extends in donor coordination, fund raising and trust management. She has raised over $800 million for projects and campaigns and managed a $2 billion infrastructure portfolio.
Mr. Everton (Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force Retired) has over 25 years in supply chain and contracts management. He has led and managed technology acquisition management across government and international business environments. He is a strategic visionary with a passion for continuous improvement and cost management. Most recently, Mr. Everton was Chief of International Contracts Compliance for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. He managed $1.7B/year in expenditures to maintain and integrate worldwide GEOINT intelligence systems. In Afghanistan, he served as Chief of Contracting and Procurement Oversight. Mr. Everton also served as the US Defense Logistics Agency Energy Division as Director of Staff Operations, where he managed worldwide buying and material management of $3.3 billion in commercial fuels contracts. In Afghanistan, he was a subject matter expert and foreign military advisor and led a 10-person anti-corruption unit responsible for mentoring Afghan acquisition professionals with $6.4 billion in Afghan procurements. He is now in an International Business doctoral program.
Mr. Van Horn is a planning and management professional with over 40 years of experience involving program management, urban and regional master planning, conservation, and development economics. His certifications included membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners for over 30 years and PM accreditation from the Project Management Institute. He has successfully completed over $2B in consulting and management contracts for federal, state, local, and international government agencies and private clients, including projects throughout the United States and Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Central America/Caribbean region. As planning director for the Dubai, UAE, Structure Plan in the early 1990s, he developed a housing voucher program that was estimated to have saved the Emirate government over $300M in infrastructure investment costs. As Head of Programme for the United Nations Office of Project Services Operational Hub in Kabul in 2016-2017 he oversaw all international donor-funded UNOPS projects and programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, he also served as Deputy/Acting Chief of Party and Energy Sector Lead for the USAID-funded $1.2B Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program and Country Director for the $750M USAID Energy and Water Program prime contractor. He supported the SIV and P2 applications of many of our volunteers. He is now retired from full-time work and stays active through teaching, mentoring and volunteering.
Mr. Nasiri is an electrical engineer in Facilities Management at Glendale College in Arizona. He came to the U.S. on a Special Immigration Visa in 2017. He graduated from Kabul University with a BSEE degree in 1986. He began his career with the Afghanistan Ministry of Energy and Water in 1987, rising through progressively responsible positions as the national power utility evolved through political and organizational changes to become Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS). He left government service in 2006 to become Senior Technical Advisor for a USAID contractor, Advanced Engineering Associates International Inc. In 2008 he left AEAI to join the Louis Berger-Black and Veatch Joint Venture, another USAID contractor, as a deputy task order manager for the National Load Control Center being constructed in Kabul. Nasiri has the distinction of becoming the first Afghan national approved as a USAID task order manager when he assumed that role after the initial TO manager returned to the U.S. Mr. Nasiri reported directly to Mr. Van Horn at this time. Nasiri become identified with the U.S. government after appearing in a video shown widely on Afghan television where he addressed the benefits of cooperating with the U.S. government for the Afghan power sector. Following threats he received, Van Horn supported his application for an SIV. After his family safely relocated to the U.S., Nasiri later returned to Afghanistan at the request of senior DABS and Afghan government ministry officials to work for DABS as Chief Commercial Officer and then as Chief Operating Officer until his visa provisions required him to return to the U.S. As DABS CCO, he was instrumental in securing the site for a combination wind and solar energy generation facility adjacent to a DABS substation in Herat, working with Mr. Van Horn while he was at UNOPS for the success of this Japanese government-funded project.
Martha Foss (Colonel, US Army Retired) is an attorney, leader, veteran, and volunteer with extensive legal and military experience. She possesses extensive experience in litigation, complex investigations, compliance/risk, employment law, contracts, ethics, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. She is a trained mediator. Ms. Foss possesses Master’s (LL.M) and Juris Doctorate (JD) degrees, in addition to several other degrees and certifications. She transitioned from active military service in January 2021. Among her military awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and Foreign Army Parachutist Badge (Romania). She currently lives in the State of Georgia where she works as an in-house counsel for Ventiv Technology. In Afghanistan between 2010 and 2015, she served as Senior Legal Advisor and Operational Planner where she represented the United States in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military/civilian coalition before the Afghan government, serving as an expert on operations, Afghanistan and South/Central Asia geopolitics, rule of law, and security sector reform. While assigned to ISAF headquarters in Kabul she served as an embedded personal advisor to the Afghanistan Chief Justice.