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Dr. Lyla Kohistany

Dr. Lyla Kohistany

President, PROMOTE Leadership, Advisory Council Member, Global SOF Foundation

Lyla is an Afghan refugee, U.S. Navy veteran (Surface Warfare & Intelligence), entrepreneur, organizational enhancer, and innovation igniter.  

With three Afghanistan deployments alongside U.S./NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) and tours in the Pentagon, she has enjoyed a distinguished career contributing to counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and all-source intelligence operations. 

Lyla is also a lauded corporate educator, having designed and facilitated hundreds of interactive/experiential programs on cultural intelligence, organizational performance, innovation, and inclusive leadership. She is a sought-after speaker and moderator, has been featured in various media, and contributed to numerous podcasts. She also co-founded two nationwide nonprofits, PROMOTE Leadership and Honor the Promise. 

Lyla was a Scholar at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and a nonresident Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council. She is currently a Senior Fellow with The Soufan Center, an Ambassador for the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, a member of the Global SOF Foundation’s Advisory Council, and on the Board of Directors for The Honor Foundation and Corioli Institute. 

Lyla earned a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. She is a Star Trek and Star Wars aficionada, international traveler, and devoted aunt to her niece and nephews.


  • We are extremely excited to convene the community at SOF Week 2024. This convention for U.S. and International SOF will include a diverse slate of programs, to include professional development sessions, interactive discussions about the future of SOF, and an up-close view of some of the best tech available to our warfighters. GSOF looks forward to working with USSOCOM to make SOF Week 2024 an impactful event.
    Stuart Bradin
    President and CEO, GSOF


Co-sponsorship of this event does not imply endorsement of GSOF, its services, or products by the United States Government, the Department of Defense, or U.S. Special Operations Command.