Laylo Merali | Tajikistan | MAS. International & European Security | University of Geneva, Switzerland
Laylo Merali is originally from Khorog in Tajikistan’s mountainous Gorno-Badakhshan province. Following Laylo’s high school graduation in Khorog, she was selected for the Future Leaders Exchange Program – a year-long academic and leadership experience in the US. After one year abroad, Laylo completed a Bachelors degree in sociology and law at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan.
With the intent of applying her learning to Tajikistan’s development, she returned home to work for the Aga Khan Development Network.
Aspiring to broaden her horizons by studying the ways in which global and regional security are essential for stability and socioeconomic development, Laylo moved to Geneva, Switzerland. Pursuing her education at the University of Geneva, Laylo earned a Master’s degree in international policy & security through a program that is partnered with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). This program fosters a genuinely global centre with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and fields of expertise.
“I believe that stability and development are closely related – one cannot occur without the other one. I want to make a difference by ensuring that developing countries and international organizations have well-considered policies that promote stability.”
Among the first of her classmates from Tajikistan in the program, Laylo’s deep interest in addressing some of the world’s most pressing security challenges made her a valuable member of the program. Other program participants included military officers, government officials, and non-profit sector leaders from nearly 25 different countries. Laylo now wants to encourage other aspiring leaders and development professionals to look at how strong policy development has the ability to shape people’s lives.