I am pursuing a University College London and International Growth Centre-funded PhD focused on the political economy of infrastructure investment at the UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, where I also teach MSc courses in infrastructure finance and economics. My PhD critiques institutional path dependent development thinking as setting anachronistic development paths, looks at the climate impact of infrastructure and at the cost to Zambian firms of power outages.
I’ve published analytical pieces with US publications The New York Times, The Boston Globe; European publications The Financial Times, The Guardian, Internationale Politik; African publications Africa journal, The East African, New Times, allAfrica.com; and Asian publications Dawn, The News, The Friday Times, Pakistan Today, Aman ki Asha, GQ India, and the New Strait Times.
Assisting the Government of Rwanda as an embedded World Bank-funded PPP Transactions Advisor at the Rwanda Development Board between 2012-2016, I helped it execute over 30 public private partnerships for the delivery of infrastructure, concessions and joint ventures, including Kigali Bulk Water which has won several international awards. I also served the Rwandan Treasury as a Special Policy Advisor. Previously, I worked as an Investment Associate at Duet Africa Private Equity and at TLG Capital and professionally campaigned for women councilors in the 2005 Pakistan local government elections and for John Kerry in the 2004 US presidential elections.
I earned my Master of International Business degree on scholarship from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston with a semester exchange at HEC Paris MBA, and my BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Our peripatetic parents with roots in Lahore served as NHS doctors and moved me, my accomplished journalist brother Issam, and sister Sheherbano around England, including Barnstaple in Devon, Liverpool, Sunderland, Otley in West Yorkshire and Wolverhampton. I’ve lived 5 years each in Thurlby-by-Bourne in Lincolnshire and the London boroughs of Sutton and Camden, the latter as an adult.
Like the seasoned traveler John Smith of Lincolnshire who shared my birthday, I wooed a native beauty, Maaria Siddiqi of Long Island, from her American shores to be my wife. That’s us on the left.
In my free time, I campaign for the Lib Dems and advise our parliamentarians, play violin with the Good Ensemble and captain the Goodenough College Cricket Club.