Suzanne Griffin, who has developed and led education and technical programs in Afghanistan for more than a decade, will return to the country in November to continue her work there.
Griffin, who earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington College of Education, will serve as senior advisor/project leader for the Bachelor's in Public Policy and Administration Project of GIZ, the German equivalent of the United States Agency for International Development.
The project is operating at five universities with 2,000 students enrolled. Griffen will also articulate with the MPPA Program as both programs--which are preparing the future administrators and leaders of the Afghan government-- transition to Afghan leadership.
While Griffin has used her educational background to instruct at higher education institutions, from programs supported by the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to South Seattle Central Community College, her heart is in higher education, specifically the areas where technology and culture and English language learning overlap.
For more than a decade, Griffin has been forging new pathways as an educational partner and visionary in Afghanistan. Working with the U.S. Embassy and the Deputy Minister of Education, along with dozens of colleagues and counterparts, Griffin helped get wireless technology into the Afghanistan university system, has trained more than 7,000 teachers and 600 school administrators, and led the creation and revision of an English curriculum framework used throughout the country.
“It’s hard work, yes, but I keep going back,” Griffin explains. “I want to support the Afghanistan women. I hope that we get long-term female leaders in the educational system and I see no reason why this can’t happen.”
Throughout her work in the country, Griffin has spent time building relationships to improve educational infrastructure and promote female leadership.
One of her proudest moments was serving on a governance committee, alongside Afghan women, that increased equal opportunity for women in the educational system.
“The ministries went from bombed out buildings to functioning offices with strategic plans,” Griffin said. “Yet there is still work to be done. After a big meeting where the deputy and ministers touted 'Equal Opportunity for Higher Education' as a goal, I saw the dismal statistics and spoke individually with the deputy and advisers, telling them, 'If you aren’t going to do anything about building up female faculty in higher education, then you aren’t going to have equal opportunity.'"
Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications