Honorary Alumni

Sahiba Gafarova

Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan since March 10, 2020.   

She was born on March 19, 1955 in the city of Shamkir. She graduated with honors from the Faculty of Russian Language and Literature of the Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of Russian Language and Literature named after M.F.Akhundov (Baku Slavic University) and the Faculty of English Philology of the Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of Languages (Azerbaijan University of Languages). Doctor of Philology, professor, honored teacher. She has authored several textbooks, manuals, monographs, and scholarly articles; is fluent in Russian and English.

In 1978-1981 she worked as a teacher in the secondary schools of Shamkir. From  1981 to 2000  she began her career as a lab assistant and worked her way up to become a lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor and professor at the Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of the Russian Language and Literature, the Dean of the Western Languages Faculty at Western University, from 2000 to 2020 she was a professor at the Department of Literature Theory of Baku Slavic University, the Head of the European Languages Department, Vice-Rector for International Relations (2010-2020 on a voluntary basis).

In 2006, she worked at the Institute for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan under the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright Scholarship Program.

Member of the «Yeni Azerbaijan Party».

Member of the fourth and fifth convocations of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 2012 - 2014, she headed the subcommittee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on combating racism and xenophobia, 2014 - 2015, the subcommittee on gender equality. In 2015-2017, she was Political Coordinator of the Parliamentary Network "Women Free from Violence" in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Chief Rapporteur on violence against women, 2016 - 2018 Chair of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and IDPs, member of the Bureau. 2018 - 2020 Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

Head of the Azerbaijani Parliamentary Delegation to the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS) and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TurkPA).

 Married, two children.