Shala leads Human Right’s First’s nationwide coordination of legal stakeholders responding to the evacuation of at-risk Afghan nationals by the U.S. government. She also oversees our pro bono program that provides legal screenings and representation to Afghans eligible for asylum, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), and other forms of humanitarian protection.
Prior to joining Human Rights First, Shala served as Director of Mercy Center’s Immigrant Services Department and as Supervising Attorney with Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of NY. Previous to that, she was a Blossom Hill Legal Fellow with Refugee Rights Turkey in Istanbul, and worked in Greece for Greek Council for Refugees and HIAS, serving Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers. Shala worked on a report documenting reconciliation following the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and served in anti-poverty projects in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Shala obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University, and her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in New York and is fluent in Dari, Farsi, and Spanish.