Athar has extensive research experience and expertise in designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research. Her research interests lie broadly in human security and insecurity, socioeconomic, basic needs, health, education, forced migration, the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, religion and government policies, and the policies of international actors. She has also taught and done research at Swinburne University of Technology and conducted research at the National University of Malaysia (UKM) and Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
She is passionate about strengthening communities and advocating for human rights, gender equality, vulnerable groups and irregular/regular migrants. Her strong dedication to humanitarian organizations includes actively volunteering with organizations such as Amnesty International, ASRC and AMES to assist with the resolution of critical humanitarian issues and to aid communities.
Athar has a PhD and MPhil in political science and international relations with a focus on human security and socioeconomics.