Zarlasht Halaimzai is the Director and co-founder of Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI) – an organisation committed to resourcing refugees, aid workers and organisations with skills and tools to deal with stress, insecurity and trauma. A former refugee herself, Zarlasht has been advocate for refugee rights and over the last 12 years, she has developed programmes that promote resilience in vulnerable populations in several countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Syria, United Kingdom and Greece. Zarlasht has trained in Childhood and Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy at Cambridge University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Oxford University. She is multilingual and was selected as a Kathryn Davis Peace Fellow to study Arabic at Middlebury College in 2016. Zarlasht has written for several publications including the Guardian, Washington Post, the Good Journal, Huffington Post and the New Statesman. Her work has been profiled by the Psychologist Magazine, NPR and Grazia, and she was the recipient of 2017 Future Shapers Award from Marie Claire Magazine.
In 2018, she was selected from 20,000 applicants to be one of twenty inaugural Fellows of the Obama Foundation.