Our Leadership

DIL operates under the auspices of a US-based Board of Directors and a Pakistan-based Board of Trustees. DIL was granted tax-exempt status 501 (c) (3) by the IRS in February 2000.The organization has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator four years in a row.


Dr. Nafis Sadik

Dr. Nafis Sadik is currently Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General, with additional responsibilities as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia, and former head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She was first appointed as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2002, and was renewed of the appointment by the current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007.

  • Advisory Board

    Advisory Board

    Sara Abbasi

    Sara Abbasi is founding board member of Developments in Literacy, having established DIL’s San Francisco chapter in 2001. Sara currently serves on the board of World Affairs, the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding, and Stanford University Islamic Studies Program. Sara and her husband, Sohaib, endowed the Abbasi program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University in 2003. The Abbasi program aims to promote better understanding of Islam, Muslims and Islamic Civilization. Sara holds a BA in business administration from Santa Clara University, a MA in international relations from Golden Gate University, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in liberal arts at Stanford University.

    Amjad Ali Khan

    Mr Khan is a co-founder and the managing partner of Afridi & Angell. He heads the firm’s banking and financial services practice and advises on both conventional and Shari’a compliant transactions. He represents the firm’s international and local clients including banks and leading multinationals in banking, financial, and corporate transactions in Dubai and abroad. He also represents clients in relation to investments in the GCC, US, UK, and India.

    Anja Manuel

    Anja Manuel is a principal at RiceHadleyGates Inc.She is also a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and teaches in Stanford’s International Policy Studies program. She is a member of the Aspen India Strategy Group; a member of the board of advisors of the Center for a New American Security; and serves on the board of the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative.Ms. Manuel graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, and holds both an M.A. and B.A. with distinction from Stanford University.

    Henna Inam

    Henna Inam is the Global Head for e-Innovation for Novartis. Ms. Inam is an experienced General Manager and CMO, who combines strategic thinking and brand-building capabilities of a P&G heritage, with the passion and people skills to drive results.

    Haris Khan

    Haris Khan is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of the Technology Services firm, Zigron Inc. He is responsible for Zigron’s Product Strategy and User Experience Services. He also works with early stage startups to pursue joint and solo startup ventures.

    Ikram U. Khan, M.D.

    Ikram U. Khan is a board member of the US Institute of PEace as well as a fellow of the American Institute of Health Care Quality. He is a recipient of U.S. Presidential Recognition for “Steadfast Devotion to Health & Well Being of Patients” in January 2000 and a “Special Congressional Recognition for Invaluable Community Service in 1994.” Dr Khan has also served on various State Boards and Commissions where he received several national and state recognitions for his professional and community services. Khan earned his doctor of medicine and surgery degree at the University of Karachi, where he specialized in the field of forensic medicine, ophthalmology and pathology.

    Jane Wales

    Jane Wales is the President & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, host of the nationally-syndicated National Public Radio interview show It’s Your World, and Co-Founder of the Global Philanthropy Forum.

    Kashif Zafar

    Kashif Zafar is Managing Director at Barclays, U.K. Before 2009, Mr. Zafar was based in New York, where he was at Barclays, USA for over 3 years. Prior to joining Barclays, Mr. Zafar worked for a number of years at Credit Suisse.

    Kavita Ramdas

    Kavita N. Ramdas is the Representative for the Ford Foundation’s office serving India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In additional to this role, she continues to be involved with the Program on Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford where she serves as the Chair of the Global Practitioner Council. The program brings social change innovators to campus twice a year.

    Dr Maleeha Lodhi

    Dr. Maleeha Lodhi is a journalist, an academic and a diplomat from Pakistan. Until recently, she was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom, and a former Ambassador to the United States. She is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has also been a member of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board on Disarmament.

    Nasser A. Ahmad

    Nasser A. Ahmad is co-founder, chief investment officer, and managing partner of DiMaio Ahmad Capital, a New York-based asset management company. Nasser has also served as managing director of Credit Suisse Capital and chief investment officer for the Direct Credit Hedge Fund Group. He was co-head of Global Cash and Derivatives Credit Trading within the Fixed Income Division at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). Nasser received a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves on the board of the Soros Economic Development Fund.

  • Board of Directors
  • Board of Directors

    The DIL Board of Directors develops strategic goals and program initiatives; reviews and approves annual plans and budgets; assists in expanding outreach, visibility and donor support; and monitors the progress of the organization.

    Muhammad Shahzad, Chairperson

    Muhammad is a member of the Technology, Media & Telecom Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Muhammad founded his own technology company and also worked at Accenture and Deutsche Bank.

    Fiza Shah, Founder and CEO

    Fiza Shah founded Developments in Literacy (DIL) in 1997. Under her leadership, the organization has successfully provided quality education to tens of thousands of children and invested in the professional development of Pakistan’s teaching force.

    Marilyn Wyatt

    Marilyn Wyatt has worked for many years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations and other civil society groups. She is a well-known coach to international NGO boards.She formerly worked as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, with postings to Warsaw, Prague, and Washington. She was also Director of Communications for the Aspen Institute, Senior Program Coordinator for the Open Society Institute, communications specialist for USAID in Pakistan, and Senior Writer for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

    Mehar Patel

    Mehar Patel is a founding board member of Developments in Literacy and has served as the President of DIL’s Washington D.C. Chapter. Ms. Patel contributes her time and energy to recruiting new chapter leaders and raising awareness for DIL’s mission among donor communities and policy circles in the nation’s capital.

    Najmi Sarwar

    Najmi Akram Sarwar has worked for ten years at AT&T as an engineer & product manager and then later as a VP at Citibank in New York. She has served on the board of the International YMCA and is a partner of the Acumen Fund. She is currently based in Hong Kong and led the establishment of DIL’s Hong King affiliate.

    Shaila Zamir

    Tasnim Shaheryar

    Wajid Mirza

    Wajid A. Mirza is a seasoned management and information technology consultant with over 20 years of experience of working with Fortune 500 companies in Utilities, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Automotives, Consumer Goods, and Waste Disposal industries. Mr. Mirza has a background with a Big 4 Consulting firm and an MBA from a top Business School. He has demonstrated leadership qualities, supported by a solid track record of managing large, complex projects.

    Ehsan Zaffar

    Ehsan Zaffar is an educator, advocate and public servant who builds resilient communities by increasing trust and transparency in governments, non-profits and private enterprise. He serves as a senior advisor on civil rights and civil liberties issues at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. where he advises the Secretary of Homeland Security and DHS components on the civil rights and civil liberties implications of existing and proposed national security policies, programs, and procedures.

    He has previously served as a liaison to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standing Committee on National Security Law and as Vice-Chair of the ABA’s Section of International Law (Asia/Pacific Committee). Mr. Zaffar is an adjunct member of the faculties of Washington College of Law at American University, John Marshall Law School, George Mason University, and George Washington University. He teaches courses on homeland security policy, as well as privacy and surveillance law. He has lectured to audiences on these issues in Spain, Greece,  Indonesia, Norway and Pakistan.

    Prior to government service, Mr. Zaffar worked on human rights and rule of law issues in post-disaster and post-conflict environments both domestically and abroad. Mr. Zaffar is a panel mediator on national security and civil rights matters with the Agency for Dispute Resolution. In addition to his board service with DIL, he serves on the board of advisors at the Amani Institute, a social entrepreneurship curriculum training institute in Kenya.

    His book Understanding Homeland Security: Foundations of Security Policy will be published in late 2016 by Routledge Press.