2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
In New Jersey, Parry Aftab has worked with the FBI and the Newark Division since the 1999 inception of Newark’s Innocent Images Initiative.
Ms. Aftab, a noted author, child advocate, attorney, and leading authority on security, privacy, and cyber law, is the founder and executive director of wiredsafety.org. In addition to writing and promoting the first law enforcement investigator’s guide for social networks, Ms. Aftab also helped create MTV’s “A Thin Line” campaign, which educates teens about cyber safety.
In an effort to keep kids safe online, Ms. Aftab created a cyber safety initiative for the Girl Scouts, which has since educated 2.5 million girls regarding online safety. In addition, she drafted the Teen Angels Program, which allows teens to train for two years to become cyber crime prevention and cyber safety experts. Graduates of the Teen Angels Program go on to train their peers and have helped advise law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
Currently, Ms. Aftab is creating a law enforcement cyber safety training portal for Ontario law enforcement agencies in Canada, and has created presentation materials and resources for law enforcement worldwide to be used in community outreach programs.
Throughout her career, Ms. Aftab has proven to be a tireless advocate for children. In 1999, UNESCO recruited her to lead its sexual exploitation of children awareness campaign, Innocence in Danger. When the program was not funded as planned, she continued her work without funding.
In 2001, she was asked to meet with the White House to help address the growing fear that children of Middle Eastern descent would be targeted by hate groups in the aftermath of 9/11. In response, she organized the E-Mail to America project, inspiring her clients and supporters to create a portal where children across the world could voice their fears and concerns.