October 2014 Alumni Spotlight
Alumni Spotlight with Mosharraf Zaidi ’01
Mosharraf Zaidi ’01 MPA was recently recognized by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Young Global Leader for his role in improving the quality of education for children in Pakistan.
Founder and campaign director of Alif Ailaan, Zaidi is among the 214 new members of the Young Global Leaders (YGL) community selected by the World Economic Forum. A strong supporter of Pakistani educational reform, Zaidi is a widely-quoted columnist for The News in Pakistan and a TV and radio contributor for CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, PTV and Geo News., in the U.S. and the Middle East.
Zaidi discusses his efforts to raise awareness for universal education for all children in Pakistan.
Q: What is Alif Ailaan?
A: Alif Ailaan is a Pakistani alliance for education reform led by a communications campaign. We campaign as a broad coalition of people and organizations committed to getting more of our children in school and learning well. Our allies and partners include a wide range of organizations and individual advocates and ambassadors. We are also aligned with the Mir Khalil ur Rehman Foundation (MKRF)’s ‘Zara Sochiye’ media campaign, working with that group to raise awareness of the need for universal education and to show how best to provide it.
Q: What is the role of the organization?
A: It campaigns as a broad coalition of people and organizations committed to improving the quality of education for Pakistani children. The organization does not support affiliate itself with any one political party or politician. I was seed-funded by the UK Department of International Development, as one small part of its package of development aid for education in Pakistan, and I’m funded to continue to 2016.
Q: What other type of policy positions have you held during your career?
A: Before this role, I held senior positions with governments and various international organizations. I was an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan. I also advised the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UK Government’s DFID, and the Danish and Swiss governments on policy issues in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the South Asia region.