Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan, is an international speaker, disability advocate and communications executive. Starting her career in 2001-2003 with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Ecuador and a two year stint establishing and growing corporate communications for Dell Panama. Cara joined the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Angola in 2007 to expand her experience cultivating multi-million corporate partnerships. This led to a year with UNICEF China to support the Sichuan Earthquake Emergency Response, followed by UNICEF assignments in Madagascar, Mozambique, Thailand and finally Haiti where she served as the Resource Mobilization Specialist and Disability Focal Point after the devastating 2010 Earthquake. This inaugural role led to international speaking engagements in Qatar and at UNHQ for the Conference of State Parties on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2013 Cara moved to the USA with UNICEF. Her work as a Disability Focal Point with the Haitian Secretary of State was so groundbreaking that the Women’s Refugee Commission featured Cara as a woman leader and role model for disability inclusion in humanitarian action, “Working to Improve Our Own Futures”.
In December 2019 Cara was the closing guest speaker at TED Women presenting, The beautiful balance between courage and fear which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times and has been translated into 25 languages. Today Cara is producing a feature documentary film, Her Inescapable Brave Mission, executive produced by the legendary filmmaker Sam Pollard and Board Chair of the International Documentary Association, Brenda Robinson. Porsche North America and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, awarded Cara the 2015 Driving Force Award which recognizes women who exemplify the spirit of activism and community engagement at the local and/ or global level. Cara was named Canada’s Champion of Diversity, Inclusion and Empowerment of Women & Girls for embodying the Government of Canada’s commitment to female empowerment and reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to ensure their full participation in society. In 2018, Cara was recognized by Atlanta Magazine, as a 2018 Women Making a Mark Honoree and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as an Outstanding Voice in Diversity & Inclusion. In 2020, Diversability named Cara to its global D-30 Impact List, which honors the unique accomplishments of the most impactful disability leaders in the world. Cara has a masters degree in International Public Policy from John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Italy and is accomplished in languages, fluent in Spanish, with working knowledge of French and Portuguese and basic Mandarin Chinese.