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 Young Alumna Award

Dilnoor PANJWANI'01
 
As an expert in disaster recovery and resettlement, Dilnoor Panjwani assesses the local and international response to catastrophes, including earthquakes, tsunamis and floods. On the ground, she has helped entire villages function better after a terrible event. And, in her academic work, she is reshaping some traditional thinking about how governments and aid groups should deal with disasters.
 
Dilnoor takes a holistic approach, looking at all the factors that make a successful, sustainable and more resilient post-disaster community. "Traditionally, recovery is more about the physical—rebuilding the houses, rehabilitating the buildings, getting the economy moving," Dilnoor says. "I'm looking at it as also reconnecting the social fabric and reviving the essence of communities. It's just as much about rebuilding the human spirit as it is the buildings."
 
Her work with non-governmental organizations has taken her from Tajikistan and Afghanistan to Haiti and a stint at the World Bank in Washington, DC. The Queen's University grad, who did her master's at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is now preparing to defend her Ph.D. dissertation in risk management planning at the University of British Columbia.
 
Dilnoor says Branksome has given her a strong foundation in creative thinking and leadership. "The idea of women becoming leaders was a big aspect of the Branksome environment that I have taken with me wherever I have travelled," she says. "And coming up with new solutions, thinking outside the box. No idea is a bad idea—that's what Branksome made me believe."
 
For her far-reaching and ongoing contributions to aid communities in the developing world, the Branksome Hall Alumnae Association is proud to bestow the Young Alumna Achievement Award on Dilnoor Panjwani.

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