Press Releases

Rep. Beyer To Honor Dr. Tahera Ahmadi At Annual Women’s Conference

Rep. Don Beyer announced today that Dr. Tahera Ahmadi will receive the Clara Mortenson Beyer Women and Children First Award during his Sixth Annual Women’s Conference and Forum in Arlington on May 7. 

Dr. Ahmadi, an Afghan doctor, evacuated from Afghanistan as the Taliban advanced on Kabul last August, and arrived in Virginia with just a backpack. She is one of tens of thousands of Afghans resettled in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome, many of whom have been housed in Northern Virginia. Ahmadi previously worked as a volunteer and contractor for humanitarian and civilian assistance organizations where she focused on helping women, work that put her life at risk as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. She now lives in Alexandria.

“Dr. Ahmadi has shown remarkable resilience in the face of hardship few of us can imagine, and through it all she has remained committed to working for a better world,” said Beyer. “Dr. Ahmadi overcame significant challenges to pursue an education and then become a doctor in Afghanistan, where she worked to help people and improve lives, particularly the lives of women, until it was no longer safe to do so. Today she is a member of our Northern Virginia community, which has welcomed and supported thousands of Afghan refugees. I will continue to work to ensure that this kind of opportunity is available to those who need it, and to espouse the values of a region and a nation which have benefitted so much from the contributions of immigrants and refugees.”

Rep. Beyer created the Clara Mortenson Beyer Women and Children First Award while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein in 2011.  It is named after his grandmother, who is credited with convincing the Roosevelt Administration to appoint Frances Perkins, the first female Cabinet Secretary in the United States. Clara Beyer served as Secretary Perkins’ right hand, working on child labor issues. She was the first woman appointed as U.S. representative to the International Labor Organization in Geneva. 

The award is given annually to recognize exceptional work to empower women. Previous awardees include journalist Marie Ridder, gun violence prevention advocate Naomi Wadler, rock climber Sasha DiGiulian, diplomat Betty King, PeaceWomen founder Ruth Gaby Vermot, journalist Lisa Feldmann, Arlington community activist Portia Clark, and immigration advocate Ofelia Calderón.

This year's conference will be held at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus on May 7. Registration and additional information are available here.