Nyla Ali Khan, Kashmiri-American academic and author, has been made a member of the International Team of the Governor of Oklahoma. The team “brings together business people, members of government at the local, state and federal levels, educators from kindergarten all the way through to post graduate studies, and international, cultural and other non profit organizations.
“The members are as diverse as the interests they serve, but they are all committed to a prosperous and globally focused Oklahoma.”
Dr. Khan is a professor at Rose State College in Midwest City. She taught as a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma. Formerly, she was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. Author of several published articles, book reviews and editorials, she has edited Parchment of Kashmir, a collection of essays on Jammu and Kashmir, written four books, including “The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam,” “Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan.”
Several of her articles have appeared in academic journals, newspapers and magazines in the United States and South Asia. They focus on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir, where she visits frequently.
Dr. Khan has presented lectures on the subject of Kashmir at several universities including American University, Columbia University and New York University. She is an Oklahoma Humanities Scholar presenting public talks statewide, including women’s correctional facilities, where she focuses on education and women’s empowerment. She has also been interviewed by numerous major media outlets including NPR and Voice of America. As an educator, her goal is to engage in reflective action working with diverse cultural and social groups questioning the exclusivity of cultural nationalism, the erosion of cultural syncretism, the ever-increasing dominance of religious fundamentalism, and the irrational resistance to cultural and linguistic differences.
She says her commitment to pedagogy, scholarship, and her faith in the critical focus that education can provide, motivate her to build bridges across racial, political, and ideological divides.
Khan is a member of the Harvard-based Scholars Strategy Network. She has served on the board of Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization seeking to empower the younger generation through civics education. She is an active member of the multicultural, multinational and multireligious Women’s Interfaith Alliance. In May 2015, Khan was the first Kashmiri woman to be nominated and accepted as a member of the Advisory Council for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. The Council serves “as a resource and clearinghouse for research and information on issues related to women and gender bias, to act as an advisory entity on equity issues to state agencies, communities, organizations and businesses of the state, and to establish recommendations for action to improve the quality of life for Oklahoma women, children and families.” In March 2019, Khan was appointed Commissioner of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Woman by the pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.
Khan was recognized at the Oklahoma State Capitol for her human rights work in 2017 and honored by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters as one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018. She was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma. She was also recently selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year which recognizes women in Oklahoma who epitomize leadership in both their professional endeavors and in the communities where they live.”