Ammani Ahmad-Khan in her graduation gown smiling on the stairway.
Photo courtesy of Ammani Ahmad-Khan

After finding her footing at Temple University and graduating in 2021 with a degree in human development and community engagement (HDCE), Ammani Ahmad-Khan is now impacting the global stage. As a consultant for UN Women, she helps develop policies and programs that promote gender equality worldwide.

Ahmad-Khan's journey to Temple was not without its challenges. Moving from London to a rural town in western Pennsylvania during high school posed a significant adjustment. She reflected on this period, saying, "I didn't find my feet. I was a sophomore in high school; kids are mean. You know the drill, and it was a struggle to acclimate to the American lifestyle."

However, Temple became the turning point for Ahmad-Khan, who underwent multiple major changes. Originally pursuing journalism, she discovered her passion for human services and political science through active involvement in various student organizations, including leadership roles in Temple student government. After a transformative gap year during her time at Temple University, she decided to switch to the HDCE program, marking a crucial period during which she volunteered domestically and internationally, gaining valuable insights into education and community development.

Ahmad-Khan's professional journey took her to UN Women, where she works on deconstructing gender disparities in the digital ecosystem. Her role is instrumental in addressing the outcomes highlighted in the Commission on the Status of Women 67, focusing on bridging the digital divide and promoting gender equality.

Reflecting on her time at Temple, Ahmad-Khan acknowledges key figures like her university studies advisor at the time who guided her towards HDCE. She emphasized the importance of relationships and community within the HDCE program, praising professors like Ben Torsney, Erica Johnston and Shanta Hattikudur for their influence.

Expressing gratitude for the connections she made during her academic journey, she stated, "The relationships that you make when you're at Temple, you just manage to pick up straight where you left off [after graduation], and that's exactly what happened when I saw Erica Johnston at a work event. She was a guest, and the way she was just so keen on being able to offer any support or a helping hand was just inspiring."

Ahmad-Khan's approach to creating change was noted by Kelly M. McGinn, assistant professor and program coordinator for human development and community engagement, who said, "Ammani was always a go-getter. She always took the initiative. She always wanted to get to the root of the problem to produce change."

Shanta Hattikudur, chair of the psychological studies in education department, added, "Ammani is the kind of student you can't wait to see what she does with her talents in life. She embraces life and all its adventures—she was very active in school clubs, social life, volunteering, and academics! I loved having individual chats with her over coffee. Her passion for life and all that it offers is so evident when you talk to her. She's wonderful."

Her path to the UN was challenging as she navigated a competitive job market after the pandemic. Still, Ahmad-Khan's persistence and network of connections led her to fulfill her dream role.

As for the future, Ahmad-Khan aspires to celebrate diversity in all forms as an educator and make a lasting impact toward equity and social justice. She looks forward to returning for a visit to Temple and reconnecting with the community that played a significant role in her journey.

From her transformative years at Temple to now empowering women worldwide, Ammani Ahmad-Khan is a testament to the power of finding one's passion and purpose, navigating challenges, and building meaningful connections that shape a global impact.