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).
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.
Syed Hassan Akbar can be contacted on hassan.akbar@jinnah-institue.
Raza Ahmad Rumi 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.
Salman Zaidi leads JI's Strategic Security Initiative and works on the Indo-Pak and Pak-Afghan Track II dialogues, in addition the Institute's Water Security project. He has authored multiple institutional papers, including the report 'Pakistan, the United States and the End Game in Afghanistan: Perceptions of Pakistan's Foreign Policy Elite' as well as 'Extremism Watch: Mapping Conflict Trends in Pakistan 2010-2011'.
Mr. Zaidi holds an MSc. in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BSc. in Development Studies (Iqra).
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.
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′ Award (2005) and the European Commission’s Prix Natali Lorenzo for Human Rights and Democracy Journalism (2006).
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.
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.
Fahd Humayun can be contacted on fahdhumayun@jinnah-
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.
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.
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.