Board of Directors

Dr. Nasim Ashraf, Chairman PHDF

The dismal state of human development indicators of Pakistan needs urgent attention and calls for an emergency, especially, in the areas of education and health. In July 2002, my friends, Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad, along with some friends of Pakistan from other countries of the world joined me to work together to address this situation. The objective of the founders of Pakistan Human Development Fund (PHDF) was to help the Government of Pakistan improve the service delivery of its education and health departments. This approach would not only give scale to the support that PHDF wanted to extend but would also ensure sustainability as the improvements brought about would become part of regular systems and procedures. A dedicated team of Pakistani expatriates worked for six months voluntarily and conducted analysis of the situation by meeting stakeholders all over the country. The findings of this study shaped our course of action. A report was presented to the Government of Pakistan and in complete recognition of the report, the Government of Pakistan stepped forward to join hands with this dedicated group of directors of PHDF, all of whom had personally contributed US $ 100,000 each, for this noble cause. National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) was formed and thus a unique public-private partnership was developed. Through a tri-partite agreement between United National Development Program (UNDP), Government of Pakistan and PHDF-NCHD, UNDP committed to extend full support to this initiative. PHDF, in this unique public-partnership was given the role of custodian of funds, approval of the annual plan and budget of NCHD and provision of funds after completion of a due diligence process. Thus, the private sector has been given the role of oversight of a public sector organization’s performance. The model produced very promising results. The achievements in a short period of six years are unprecedented. Today PHDF and NCHD have presence in 134 districts of Pakistan. It is a platform available to all those of who want to bring a meaningful change in human development situation of Pakistan. It can be done, provided we work with the same zeal and commitment with which this initiative was taken by its founders. Social change is possible in Pakistan, but it will come through empowerment at grass roots! The biggest equalizer is education! May Allah bless PHDF.

Dr. Ashraf was awarded Sitar-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for his distinguished public services.

Ms. Nadira Panjwani, HI, SI


Nadira Panjwani is a social worker based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Panjwani Charitable Foundation and Trusts. In 1994, she established the Zainab Panjwani Memorial Hospital in memory of her late mother. This 100-bed, not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to serving the public and providing quality medical care at subsidised rates and also on free basis.

In the year 2000 she established the Dr Panjwani School-College for the Blind, which was inaugurated by the President of Pakistan. This is a modern, purpose-built training complex providing education from Montessori to Master’s level for visually-handicapped students. This school complex, affiliated with the University of Karachi, is the largest academic centre for visually handicapped people in Pakistan. It is functioning under the management of the Ida Rieu Welfare Association (IRWA), Karachi. She is presently the Vice President of IRWA and Chairperson of its Academic Council.

In 2004, the President of Pakistan inaugurated the Dr. Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research at the University of Karachi. This is the first centre of its kind in Pakistan and second in South-East Asia. The Centre conducts research in the field of molecular medicine and drug development. It focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of prevalent diseases in Pakistan through its MPhil & PhD training programmes at national and international levels. This Centre has put Pakistan on the international map of molecular medicine through its valuable contributions to leading scientific journals.

Nadira Panjwani taught Management Sciences at the Bahria University, an educational organ of the Pakistan Navy, as an honorary lecturer at the post graduate level from 1996 to 2012. She arranged for a large number of scholarships for deserving students for pursuing studies at different levels.

Nadira Panjwani is the Managing trustee of the PANAH Shelter Home for Women. This organisation provides support and protection to women in distress who are victims of societal and domestic violence. She is a Trustee of the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA). She is a member of the Jinnah Society which assists in the development of projects dedicated to the memory of Quaid-e-Azam for the propagation of his principles and vision. Nadira Panjwani is a member of the Karachi Council of Foreign Relations. She is a Trustee of Promotion of Education in Pakistan, a US based organisation.

She is a Founding Director and former Chairperson of the Pakistan Human Development Fund, established in early 2002 to assist the National Commission for Human Development towards promoting health and educational facilities at the grass roots level in rural areas of Pakistan.

Nadira Panjwani has served as a member of Board of Governors of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Syndicate of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Board of Governors of the National University of Modern Languages, Syndicate of the NED University, and Board of Governors of the Bahria University. She is a member of Executive Board of the International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences University of Karachi and numerous other academic and health bodies.

Nadira Panjwani served as the Minister for Women Development and Population Planning in the 2007-2008 caretaker cabinet of Sindh.

In recognition of her meritorious services in the field of Public Service, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan conferred upon her the prestigious awards of Sitara-i-Imtiaz in the year 2000 and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2004. She was honoured as an outstanding Female Leader at the Female Leadership summit held in Berlin in September 2011. She has also been featured in a book by a famous German political analyst Kerstin Plehwe titled Die Macht der Frauen.

Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, HI, SI

Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha

Shamsh Kassim-Lakha is the Founding President of the Aga Khan University the first private university chartered in South Asia. Under the vision of His Highness the Aga Khan, he led the planning, building and operation of this internationally renowned world class institution for 27 years in eight countries of Asia, Africa and the United Kingdom. Shamsh served as Pakistan’s Minister of Education as well as Science and Technology in the Caretaker Government in 2007-8.
He chairs the board of Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy and sits on the board of International Baccalaureate Organization. Shamsh is a member of the board of Benazir Income SupportProgramme, Pakistan’s largest poverty reduction initiative. He is elected to the Steering Committee of the Talloires Network of 250 universities worldwide, involved in civic engagement and based at Tufts University. He is Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and consults for the World Bank, Grameen Bank on higher education and health. He has written several book chapters and articles on school and higher education, higher education reforms as well as on philanthropy.

Shamsh chaired the Committee that wrote Pakistan’s National Environment Protection Act (1997). In 1997 he Co-Chaired with the Education Minister of Tajikistan the Commission on the Establishment of the University of Central Asia and later helped negotiated the International Treaty and charter of this University sponsored by the governments of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Ismaili Imamat. In 2001-2, he lead the government Task Force which recommended reforms in Pakistan’s higher education, that have resulted in major structural changes in universities, the creation of Higher Education Commission (HEC), greater access for students, substantial increase in research output and a many fold increase in funding. He was a member of HEC from 2007 to 2011.

The first two decades of his career were spent in the jute industry of East Pakistan and in venture capital activities as Managing Director of Industrial Promotion Services of Pakistan, sponsored by the Aga Khan Development Network. Leading a work force of 22,000 he built up one of the largest
industrial and export houses of Pakistan. Among his numerous civic activities, he has served as
District Governor of Lions International in Pakistan.

His wide ranging experience has given him a profound understanding of the nature of political, social and economic factors as well as cultural and religious sensitivities that influence policy making by governments and the important role civil society plays in South and Central Asia, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Shamsh received his undergraduate education in the UK and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. In recognition of his academic and social work he has received an honorary degree from McMaster University, Canada as well as national awards of Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz from the President of Pakistan and Officer of the National Order of Merit from the President of France.

Dr. Abdul Sattar Abbasi

Dr. A. Sattar Abbasi

Dr. Abbasi graduated from King Edwards Medical College, Lahore. He then proceeded to UK for further training in Medicine and obtained Membership of Royal college of Physicians from University of Edinburgh. Following that he was accepted at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he completed training in cardiovascular diseases. He then returned to Pakistan to become member of the teaching staff at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi, where he also practiced for five years with then the Director of Cardiology, Dr. Shukat Ali Syed. In early 1970’s, he was invited to the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Abbasi is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCLA, and has taught and practiced cardiovascular medicine for over forty years. He has been an invited speaker internationally and has earned a Teacher of the Year award. His passion has been education, which led him to be on the Board of Directors of NCHD and PHDF.

Dr. Omar Taimoor Atiq

Dr. Omar Taimoor Atiq

Dr. Omar T. Atiq is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Medical Director of the Arkansas Cancer Institute in Pine Bluff where he has been practicing oncology and hematology for the past 21 years.
Dr. Atiq is President Elect of the Arkansas Medical Society, where he has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and as Speaker of House of Delegates in the past. He is a member of the Arkansas State MedicalBoard since 2008. He has also served as the Chief of Medical Staff at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.

Atiq is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and serves on the ACP Arkansas Chapter Governor’s Council. He has served as the President of the Jefferson County Medical Society in the past. He has served on the Arkansas Task Force on Racial Profiling. He has completed two terms at the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission where he served as the Vice Chair and now serves as a Commissioner Emeritus.

Dr. Atiq did his residency in Internal Medicine at the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital and the Foster G. McGaw Hospital of the Loyola University of Chicago in Maywood, Illinois. He was the Chief Resident at the V.A. Hospital from 1987-88. He completed his Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY from 1988-91. Dr. Atiq has several publications in peer-reviewed journals and he has co-authored various book chapters in oncology.

Atiqs take keen interest in their community. They provided leadership and initial funding to establish the UAPB (University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff) Literacy Institute for improving literacy in their area and have established educational endowments for the less privileged in their community. Dr. Atiq has served on the governing boards of numerous other community organizations over the years.

Mr. Najeeb Ghauri

Mr. Najeeb Ghauri

Najeeb Ghauri is the founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of NetSol Technologies, Inc. “NetSol”, a U.S. corporation providing global business services and enterprise application solutions to private and public sector organizations worldwide. In the early years of the Company, Mr. Ghauri was responsible for restructuring the company’s business model into that of an IT company and was instrumental in the completion of the NetSol Technologies IPO in 1998, at that time NetSol was the first IT Company from Pakistan to be listed on NASDAQ. He also spearheaded the successful listing of NetSol (NTWK) on the NASDAQ Capital Market (formerly known as Mirage Holdings, Inc.) in December 1999. NetSol grew from just five people to almost 1000 in 2009 and grew from $100K revenue in 1998 to $37MN in 2008. In 2010, he was part of a team to land the first ever Saudi Company from Riyadh to sign a contract with NetSol. Today, NetSol has nearly 200 customers worldwide and offices in 7 countries.

Mr. Ghauri was also instrumental in listing NetSol’s Pakistani subsidiary on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE). In addition, Mr. Ghauri helped establish the first U.S. company listed on both NASDAQ Capital Market (NASDAQ CM: NTWK) and (NASDAQ DUBAI: NTWK).

Mr. Ghauri represented NetSol as he presided over three ringing of the bell ceremonies on the NASDAQ Exchange platform in New York City. He has been twice nominated in the United States for the Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, once in 2001 and again in 2008.

Prior to launching NetSol in the U.S., Mr. Ghauri had over 15 years of combined marketing and management experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Unilever and Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO). He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and earned an MBA in marketing from the Drucker School of Management at the Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California.

Mr. Ghauri is also active in various charitable and educational non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. He is a founding board member of the Pakistan Human Development Fund, which provides educational tools to children in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. He is also a founding board member and Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Pakistan Business Council in Washington, D.C., a U.S. Chamber of Commerce body and the leading private sector association in the United States promoting trade and investment between the United States and Pakistan.

Mr. Farooq Rahmatullah

Mr. Farooq Rahmatullah

Mr. Farooq Rahmatullah is a Law graduate. He joined Burmah Shell Oil & Distribution Company in 1968 and worked in different capacities i.e. chemicals, human resources, marketing, supply, distribution, retail, etc. He was transferred to Shell International London in 1994 as a Manager in the Business Strategy Division and was involved in various portfolios
covering over 140 countries. On his return in 1998, he was appointed as Head of Operations of Shell Pakistan and was looking after Middle East and South Asia (MESA). In 2001, he was appointed as Chairman of Shell Companies in Pakistan and Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Limited. He has been a founding member of PAPCO (Pak Arab Pipeline Company Limited). He retired from Shell on June 30, 2006. He has also served as Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan, Chairman of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Chairman of LEADS Pakistan. He has been Chairman of Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) since June 2005.

In addition, he is serving on the Board of Directors of:
• Faysal Bank Limited
• Society for Sustainable Development
• Resource Development Committee of Aga Khan University Hospital
• Pakistan Stone Development Company

and as Trustee of Legends Trust (formed by the Government of Sindh).

He is a founding member of Pakistan Human Development Fund and member of the Economic Advisory Council, Ministry of Finance and Government of Pakistan. Moreover, he has also served as member of National Commission of Government Reforms and Director on the Board of PCB and PIA.

Mr. Rahmatullah is currently leading an Expert Energy group which has developed a 25-year Integrated Energy Plan (first time ever in the history of energy planning) for the country. This plan has been in principle accepted by the Government, Pakistan Business Council, International agencies and some other stakeholders. The Expert Energy group continues to work in updating and revising the energy plan on an annual basis and engaging political leadership and other stakeholders.

Mr. Mohammad Irshad Khokhar

Mohammad Irshad Khokhar, born in Lahore arrived in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day 1965 as a student; he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970 and has been in public practice as Khokhar & Co., Chartered Accountants since 1974. His firm has offices in London & Dubai. Prior to that, he graduated in commerce from Punjab University and lectured at the Government Commercial Institute.

During his career, Mr Khokhar has advised on many high profile tax and property matters including the Broadgate development and the Kings’s Cross regeneration project. He also maintains a thriving audit practice and advises many MNCs on inward investment into Pakistan.

Mr Khokhar is a founding director of the Pakistan Human Development Fund. He thereafter set about setting up the charity Pakistan Human Development Fund UK, a registered UK charity.

Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie

Pervaiz Lodhie, Founder & President/CEO of LEDtronics USA 1983, Shaan Technologies KEPZ Karachi Pakistan 1998, a global pioneer in LED Lighting, engineering professional, entrepreneur and businessman for 40 years.

LEDtronics, established by Lodhie in 1983 in Torrance, California is one of the world’s leaders in designing, manufacturing and packaging of energy efficient, environmentally friendly light emitting diode (LED) lamps. LEDtronics clients include some of the biggest Fortune 500 Companies.

Mr. Lodhie is the recipient of the United States Small Business Administration’s Award for Excellence. He is an active member of U.S. Congresswoman Janice Hahn’s Small Business and Job Creation Advisory Council. In addition, Mr. Lodhie has served as Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). He is one of the Founding Directors and Trustees of the private sector part of theNational Commission of Human Development (NCHD) in Pakistan, which was founded in 2002, with the primary objective of providing free primary education through public-private partnership.

Pervaiz with the support of his Karachi based ShaanTech team has successfully embarked on bringing revolutionary socio-economic change in the lives of forgotten villagers by providing Solar Powered Lighting products as part of his decade long philanthropic efforts.

Dr. Rafiq U Rahman

Dr. Rafique ur Rehman graduated from the medical school in 1980 and was awarded membership in the Pakistan College of physician and surgeons in 1984. He went to the US in 1985 as an American cancer society fellow (Audrey Meyer Mars’s international fellowship). He completed a residency in internal medicine and hematology/oncology at the state university of New York, and Roswell park cancer institute from 1991 to 1992.

He served in Harlan, Kentucky as part of service in many areas, since January 1993. He has been practicing hematology/oncology in Elizabeth town KY. He also holds an academic appointment at the University of Kentucky Lexington, KY. He is currently chairman and founder of the community uplift program for Pakistan and is a board member of Americans for peace and justice in south Asia.

Mr. Syed Shahzad Qasim

Mr. Qasim has over 25 years of experience in the power sector globally and has previously worked with The AES Corporation, McKinsey & Co., and Stone & Webster Corp.

Prior to founding CER, Mr. Qasim was President of the Europe, CIS, and Africa regions for The AES Corporation and was responsible for the regional business with revenues of USD 1.4 billion and over 12,000 MW of generation and 3 distribution companies with 1.7 million customers.

While at AES, Shahzad was directly responsible for developing, financing, constructing and operating power plants in Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan and India with an installed capacity of over 3,000 MW and capital investment of $2billion
Trained as an engineer, Mr. Qasim has an MS in Energy Management and Policy from Wharton.

Besides being a member of the Board of Pakistan Human Development Fund, he is also a Director of the i-Care Foundation, a not-for-profit organization registered under section 501-C-3. He was previously a member of the Board of Governors of WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature. He has a keen interest in human development in Pakistan.

Mr. Faisal Ali

Mr. Faisal Ali is son of the renowned Property tycoon Muhammad Arshad Gifto who was founding Member of the PHDF Board. After demise of the Mr. Arshad Gifto, Faisal Ali was selected as the member of the PHDF board in 2019. Mr. Faisal ali was born in July 1978 in UK.

He is MD of Gifto properties UK. He is currently living in London. He is graduated from the UK in business Administration.

Mr. Shoaib Amin Kothawala

Mr. Shoaib Amin Kothewala was born in July 1960 in Karachi. He completed his early education from Karachi. Afterwards he continued his family textile business.

In 1983 Mr. Amin registered his textile company in USA. After successful business in USA he also started sourcing products to other American and European countries.

He is also founder member of world Memon organization. Currently he is working as CEO of International Textile Limited USA.

Mr. Salim Adaya

Salim photo2
Mr. Adaya joined IDS as a non-executive chairperson of the board during 2004. He has a long history as an investor and owner of over 2 million square feet of commercial properties throughout the United States. In addition to his real estate portfolio, Mr. Adaya owns and operates various consumer product and textile companies in Asia. Mr. Adaya attended Saint Patrick School and the Institute of Business Administration. Mr. Adaya is a member of the Board of Directors of Pakistan Human Development Fund.

Mr. Haroon Rasheed, Representative Shell Pakistan

Federal Secretary Finance

Federal Secretary Education & Training

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