Farha Tahir, History, Political Science, and International Public Affairs graduate ‘09 and member of the History Department Board of Visitors, was named a 2023 Forward Award Recipient. The Forward Award acknowledges rising stars in various fields who exemplify the Wisconsin Idea through an emphasis on service, discovery, and progress. This award celebrates young alumni who have demonstrated exceptional early-career achievement and a positive impact on their professions.
Tahir came to UW-Madison as an undergraduate with plans to go to law school. However, after being a part of what is now known as the Wisconsin in Washington Internship Program, she “got [to DC] and never looked back.” After the internship, Tahir returned to Madison to finish her degrees. During that time, Tahir cofounded a student-run international development program called the EDGE Project that served the small island of Lingira, located in Uganda’s Lake Victoria.
The EDGE Project solidified Tahir’s passion for development work. After some work as a program officer at the National Democratic Institute, she transitioned to the State Department as a program analyst for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In this role, she oversees programs that support democracy around the world. “I have always felt that everyone deserves to be able to shape their lived reality, and that’s why I care about democracy,” Tahir said.
To read more about Farha Tahir, check out this article by the Wisconsin Alumni Association.