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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Allyn "Aliya" Danzeisen

Waikato Muslim Association
Lead coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA) and Assistant National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand.
Allyn “Aliya” Danzeisen is the lead coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA). For five years, she also served as the Assistant National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ), a national umbrella organization working to improve the lives of all Muslim women in New Zealand.  In 2018 she stepped down from that position, but at the behest of IWCNZ membership and its executive, Aliya retained the government engagement portfolio for the organisation, a role she still holds to date.  She is the Head of the Spanish Department at Hillcrest High School in Hamilton, New Zealand and volunteers her time and services to WOWMA and IWCNZ.

Aliya moved to New Zealand over thirteen years ago where she became a founding member of WOWMA and developed programmes for Muslim women and youth. Since that time, the programme Aliya developed for WOWMA has been identified as “best practices” within New Zealand and internationally. She’s been invited to participate in five global summits and was a finalist for the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards 2016.

Aliya has a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University, a J.D. from the University of Miami, and a L.L.M from the University of Waikato and worked as an attorney in Miami. She has also worked as a high school teacher in the United States and Japan. Aliya has lived in South America, the Caribbean, and Japan and speaks Spanish and conversational Japanese. Raised and educated in the United States, Aliya chose to leave a high-powered career in law to return to education and community work where she believes she can make her most effective contribution to Muslimah and society in general.