Sherry Rehman is the founding Chair of the Jinnah Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank committed to the strengthening of democracy, governance and an independent national security project in Pakistan. She co-chairs several track-two strategic dialogues with India, and is convener of a similar institutionalized dialogue process between Pakistan and Afghanistan
Sherry Rehman has served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States (Nov 2011- May 2013); Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pakistan (2008-09) and ranking member of the National Security Committee in the Parliament. Rehman is also an award-winning journalist from Pakistan with 20 years of experience in both the broadcast and the print media. In her capacity as a senior journalist, Rehman has been the first Pakistani media person to be recognized by the UK House of Lords for independent journalism at the Annual British Muslim Ceremony in 2002. Foreign Policy magazine has identified Rehman as one of 2011′s Top Global Thinkers.
She is also the architect of the first parliamentary charter and bill for women empowerment, mover of the Hudood Ordinances Repeal Bill, mover of the Anti-Honour Killings Bill, as well as the Freedom of Information Act 2004. As Minister, she moved the first government bill of the 2008 National Assembly for the repeal of martial law-led anti-media clauses in the Electronic Media Regulatory Ordinance. In August 2008, Rehman’s move to repeal similar amendments in the Print and Publication Ordinance paved the way for constitutional protection for the print media (RTI bill).
Rehman remains the only legislator in Pakistan who has ever moved parliament for amending laws that mis-use the Pakistan’s Blasphemy provisions.
In civil society, Sherry Rehman has been an active proponent for the provision of better access to health and educational resources, particularly for women and children from the lower-income sections of Pakistani society. In this respect, Rehman is Chair of the Lady Dufferin Foundation Trust, the largest non-profit provider of women and children’s subsidized healthcare in the province of Sindh. Rehman is also one of the founding members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and on the Syndicate of the Quaid-e-Azam University.
Before her designation as Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States Sherry Rehman was Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Pakistan from the Pakistan Peoples Party for her second term. For her services to Pakistan, she has been awarded the state’s highest civil award, the Nishan-i-Imtiaz in March 2013.
Syed Hassan Akbar
Syed Hassan Akbar is Director Programs at Jinnah Institute. Prior to joining JI, Akbar was Director Monitoring, Evaluation and Research for USAID’s largest gender equity based grants program at Aurat Foundation, one of the largest rights-based organizations in the country. A Fulbright Scholar,Akbar has co-authored and supervised several nationally representative research studies on democracy, governance, gender and poverty alleviation.
He has been co-author of successive iterations of the UNDP’s Social Audit on Public Service Delivery and Local Governments in 2010 and 2012 and has supervised the country’s first nationally representative benchmark study on gender differentials in 2011.
Specializing in assessing impact of development interventions, Akbar has conducted impact evaluations of teacher training programs, community infrastructure interventions and disaster preparedness programs for leading national and international development organizations in the country.
He holds a Masters in International Affairs from the School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Salman Zaidi leads Jinnah Institute’s Strategic Security Initiative and works on its Indo-Pak and Pak-Afghan Track II portfolio, in addition to supervising research on the water security project. He is the author and editor of multiple institutional publications, including the annual Extremism Watch report.
Mr. Zaidi’s research interests include national security and foreign policy; terrorism and religious extremism; political economy of violence; resource conflicts and transboundary water management.
Mr. Zaidi teaches at a private university and holds an MSc. in Violence, Conflict and Development (SOAS) and a BSc. in Development Studies (Iqra).
Salman Zaidi can be contacted on [email protected] .
Senior Research Fellow
Raza Ahmad Rumi is a Senior Research Fellow at Jinnah Institute. Raza is an international development expert, a renowned writer and journalist. Prior to joining JI, he was working for the Asian Development Bank, Manila as an economist/governance specialist. Earlier, he has worked for the Government of Pakistan, a number of Pakistani NGO networks, the United Nations and has consulted extensively for various development agencies. Raza is also an academic adviser to Network of Asia Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance; Public Policy Adviser to Leadership for Environment and Development, Pakistan; and a member of the Advisory Board of ASR Resource Centre and South Asian Institute of Women’s studies, Lahore.
Raza’s research interests and advisory skills include: security, justice and counter-terrorism, public policy, governance & anticorruption; decentralization; capacity development; and change management. He has authored several research papers and publications on governance, institutional development and South Asian arts and culture. Some of his writings are archived on www.razarumi.com. He also writes for the Pakistani and regional media. Rumi has been a consulting editor at The Friday Times and Himal SouthAsia. His columns are frequently published in daily Express-Tribune and The News in Pakistan; and The Hindu, Asian Age and other publications in India. Raza also founded popular blogs such as www.pakteahouse.net; and www.lahorenama.wordpress.com.
Raza holds a Bachelor (Economics) and Master degree (Social Planning) from the London School of Economics, UK. He has also been trained in law and public administration and law at the Civil Services Academy, Pakistan.
Raza Rumi can be contacted on [email protected]
Senior Research Fellow
Zahid Hussain is an award-winning journalist and writer. He has been a correspondent for The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal. He also has covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for several other international publications, including Newsweek, Associated Press, The Economist and India Today, andis a regular columnist for the Dawn newspaper in Pakistan.
He was Pakistan scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Washington. D.C (2011-2012). He has also been a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (1999) and at Henry Stimson Center, Washington D.C (1994)
Hussain has authored two books: Frontline Pakistan: The struggle with militant Islam (2007) and The scorpion’s tail: The relentless rise of Islamic militants in Pakistan (2010). Bothbooks have won widespread acclaim as seminal texts on the subject.
He has also contributed chapters: “ Deliberate nuclear ambiguity” in the book “Pakistan and nuclear bomb”. Notre Dame University Press (1999), and “Battling militancy” in the book “Pakistan-Beyond crisis”.Columbia University Press (2011).
Program Manager, ODI
Rabia Mehmood has been a freelance multimedia journalist, and has reported extensively on urban terrorism, persecution of religious minorities, banned militant outfits, human rights issues for television, newspapers and the web. For her reporting of human rights & social justice issues, Mehmood was awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship at the Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010.
Mehmood manages various research projects for the JI’s Open Democracy Initiative, in addition to writing and editing content for the website. Mehmood holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication from the Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore.
Rabia Mehmood tweets at @rabail26 and can also be contacted on [email protected] .
Associate Research Fellow
Huma Yusuf is an award-winning columnist and investigative journalist. She writes a weekly column in the leading Pakistani English-language daily, Dawn, on topics related to security, foreign relations, and human rights. Her column has twice won the Best Column Award from the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (2008 and 2010). She also contributes articles on a freelance basis to papers in the US and India, including The Christian Science Monitor and Indian Express.
In 2010-11, Yusuf was the Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington D.C.) During her fellowship, she researched the impact of the independent Pakistani media on politics, foreign policy (particularly US-Pakistan relations), and society for a forthcoming book.
Previously, as a staff writer for Dawn and its current affairs monthly, the Herald, Yusuf specialized in human rights reporting and investigated subjects such as “˜honour’ killings, gang warfare, ethnic conflict, and the state’s ineffective prosecution of rape cases. Her reporting was awarded the UNESCO/Pakistan Press Foundation “˜Gender in Journalism”² Award (2005) and the European Commission’s Prix Natali Lorenzo for Human Rights and Democracy Journalism (2006).
Editor and Research Analyst
Ahmer Naqvi is a journalist, filmmaker and blogger. He has worked as a reporter and producer for DawnNews TV in Pakistan and Ahlulbayt TV in the UK. He has also written for various Pakistani newspapers and magazines, including Dawn, Express Tribune, The News, Pique and others. His work has appeared on a range of national and international blogs and websites. Naqvi currently lectures on Pakistani film and visual media at NCA Rawalpindi, Fatima Jinnah Women’s University and SZABIST Islamabad.
Ahmer Naqvi can be contacted on [email protected] .
Public Affairs Officer
Mehmoona Bashar is a Public Affairs Officer at Jinnah Institute where she is responsible for media outreach and strategic communications. She assists research on extremism in Pakistan and other SSI outputs. Ms. Bashar has a keen interest in social justice, human rights and women’s empowerment. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of London.
Mehmoona Bashar can be contacted on [email protected] .
Project Manager, SSI
Fahd Humayun is the Project Manager for Jinnah Institute’s Strategic Security track. He holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in International Relations and History from the London School of Economics. He has formerly worked at The News International and the Institute of Strategic Studies. In addition to writing on conflict and post-conflict security, his areas of research focus include terrorism, national security, militancy and Afghanistan.
Fahd Humayun tweets at @fahdhumayun and can also be contacted on [email protected]
Visual Media Consultant
Mona Khan is a visual artist and curator who assists in all social and visual media output at JI. She has formerly worked as a gallery administrator at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver and more recently as curator at Rohtas gallery, Islamabad. With a focus on the socio-political role of Art, she also writes reviews on the contemporary art scene of Pakistan.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver.
Mona Khan can be contacted on [email protected]
Mazhar Abbas Zaidi
Director Finance and Human Resources
Mazhar Abbas Zaidi is Director Finance and Human Resources at Jinnah Institute. He is an associate member of Institute of Cost and Management Accounts of Pakistan (ICMAP) and has attended various short courses and seminars organized by ICMAP, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and the Institute of Bankers. Mr. Zaidi has over 20 years experience in finance, accounts, taxation , corporate affairs and cost and budgeting activities in various large corporations.
Mr. Zaidi has previously worked at Saudi Pak Leasing Company Limited in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer.
Mazhar Abbas Zaidi can be contacted on [email protected] .
Syed Mustehsan Rasool
Syed Mustehsan Rasool works as a Finance Assistant at Jinnah Institute and has previously trained at Millennium Securities and Investments, Islamabad. He holds a Bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Punjab.
Syed Mustehsan Rasool can be contacted on [email protected] .
Arsalaan Nazir is the Executive Assistant at Jinnah Institute and handles procurement and managing the day-to-day functions and activities for the office. Mr. Nazir holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Bahria University Islamabad majoring in Human Resources, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism and Sociology from the University of Punjab, Lahore. He has previously been organizing and planning events in collaboration with DreamNest productions.
Arsalaan Nazir can be contacted on [email protected] .