Shahnaz has a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Wake Forest University. She currently serves as the Assistant Director for Resilience and Recovery Strategies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in addition to being an Adjunct Faculty member at Wake Forest University. In previous experience, she has served as a Child and Family Therapist at the Crossnore School and Children's Home in Winston Salem; Program Coordinator and Senior Program Officer for the National Board for Certified Counselor's Foundation; Addictions Specialist at Insight Human Services; and as the Director of Counseling Services at Greensboro College. Prior to earning her graduate degree, she served on the board of the American Red Cross High Point/Thomasville Chapter; as a Human Relations Commissioner for the city of High Point NC; Freelance writer for the Greensboro News & Record; member readership Committee for the High Point Enterprise Daily; and member of the Davidson Diversity Counsel.
She has served in professional leadership with the American Counseling Association in several divisions as the Public Relations Committee Chair for the Association of Humanistic Counseling and with the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors as their Webinar Committee Chair. She also served as a Board Director for SALTWORLD, a non-profit organization providing mental health and social services internationally. Shahnaz has initiated several mental health projects internationally in Pakistan and the UAE providing mental health training and education and crisis and trauma counseling and continues to work internationally as time allows.
Shahnaz was born in Uganda, East Africa, and has travelled extensively all over the world. Before entering the field of mental health, Shahnaz was an international model and actress with several appearances in television and commercials and as a brand representative for prominent labels such as Bisou Bisou, Zara’s, Armani Exchange and H&M. She moved to the United States in 1998 and has been local of New Orleans, LA and High Point, NC and currently resides in Durham NC. When not doing any of the above, she maintains a private counseling/consulting practice. Shahnaz enjoys sky diving, writing, painting and yoga and spending time with her daughter Ambar Khawaja who is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.