Project Management Team

The RASTA competitive grants program is managed by the Project Management Team (PMT) at PIDE, Islamabad. The RASTA PMT manages all program activities under the leadership of Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque, Vice Chancellor, PIDE Islamabad. The PMT, stationed at an independent Project Management Unit, is responsible for the administration of grant selection procedure made by the scholarly review panel, disbursement of funds based on the fulfilment of the grant requirements by recipients, and other operational aspects of the program.

Research Advisory Committee

The RASTA is guided by a scholarly Research Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque, Vice Chancellor, PIDE Islamabad. The members of the RAC are well-reputed national and international researchers, academics, practitioners, international economic development scholars, and senior federal and provincial government officials. The role of RAC is critical from the call for applications stage to final submission of the research report. Each member of RAC will critically review research proposals, participate in the decision to award funds, monitor the progress, and mentor some awarded research studies during the course.

Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque

Vice Chancellor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics/Chairperson, RAC

Ph.D. (Economics) University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois | M.A. (Economics) University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois | B.Sc. (Economics) London School of Economics, London.

Nadeem Ul Haque remained Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of Pakistan, Trade Policy Advisor to the Minister of Commerce, and served in the IMF for 22 years, as a leading technical assistance missions and policy and research teams, and resident representative in two developing countries. His research interests include macro-economic management, planning process and decision making, civil service reform, cities and urban planning, foreign aid and knowledge economy.

Mr. Asim Saeed

Member (Private Sector Development & Competitiveness), Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan. 

MSc (Economics and Finance), London School of Economics and Political Science, UK | BA (Economics and International Relations), Brown University, USA

Asim Saeed is a former Citi-banker having worked in Karachi, Lahore, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore across commercial risk, corporate risk, corporate and investment banking relationship management and corporate finance/investment banking platform covering DCM and ECM for the ASEAN region as well as India for a while. He has executed at least 75+ deals raising North of US$ 50 billion for Citi clients. His areas of expertise include banking, risk management, investment banking, corporate finance, and capital markets.

Mr. Zafar ul Hassan

Chief (Macro Section), Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan. 

Dr. Hafeez Jamali

Additional Secretary, Government of Balochistan

Ph.D. (Socio-cultural Anthropology) UT Austin | Masters (Public Administration) University of Victoria

Hafeez Jamali is a scholar and civil servant whose research focuses on the effects of globalization and development on the livelihoods of marginalized communities. His research interests include anthropology of infrastructure, globalization and trade, politics of identity, Indian Ocean cultures, and the politics of identity and place in Balochistan (Pakistan).  He has previously taught in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at the Habib University, Pakistan and led the university’s Interdisciplinary Development Research Center (IDRAC).

Dr. Naeem uz Zafar

Chief Economist, Planning & Development Board, Government of Sindh

Ph.D. (Economics) Northern Illinois University | MBA, IBA Karachi | B.E. (Mechanical) NED University of Engineering & Technology

Naeem uz Zafar is currently working for the Government of Sindh as Chief Economist since September 2017. Before joining GoS, he worked for UNDP as Senior Advisor for one year and prior to UNDP, he served Planning Commission for three years. Before joining the government, he was Assistant Professor and Head of Graduate Economics program at IBA, Karachi during 2000 and 2014. He has diverse background of engineering, university teaching, research, and development policy and management. His research interests include development management, value chains, cluster development, urban development, and impact evaluation.


Dr. Khalid Chauhan

DIG Police, Azad Jammu Kashmir Police

PhD (Gender and Development Studies) Australian National University, Australia | Post Doctorate (Roads and Politics of Thought) SOAS, University of London | MSc (Crime, Deviance and Control) London School of Economics and Political Science | MA (English Literature) University of the Punjab

Khalid Chauhan has an extensive and distinguished police and public service experience of almost twenty-five years. He also worked for the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, for which he was awarded the United Nations Medal “in the service of peace”(2004-05). He has also worked as Director General, Pakistan Planning and Management Institute (2013). In recognition of his services, he was awarded President’s Police Medal in 2015. His research interests include public policy, gender and development, violence against women, cyber security awareness, public sector reforms, rule of law, migration and employment barriers. He was a recipient of British Chevening Scholarship (2001-02) and Australian Development Scholarship (2007-11). He has authored a book, Gender Inequality in the Public Sector in Pakistan: Representation and Distribution of Resources (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Dr. M. Aman Ullah

Joint Chief Economist, Planning & Development Board, Government of Punjab

PhD (Computational Economics/Operations Management) University of Auckland, New Zealand | M.Phil. (Economics) Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad | M.Sc. (Economics) University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi.

Aman Ullah has held various important positions in P&D Board; Chief Economist, Director of Punjab Economic Research Institute and Program Director, R&D Fund for Academia. He has a diverse experience in the public sector. Before joining Government of the Punjab, he has worked with the Planning Commission of Pakistan for many years. His research interests include public policy & project management, governance, poverty & income distribution, system dynamics, quantitative modeling and qualitative data analysis.

Dr. David Orden

Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

PhD (Economics), University of Minnesota, USA | MS (Agricultural Economic), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA | BS (Agricultural Economics), Cornell University, USA.

David Orden is known for his research and policy programs on the economics and political economy of agricultural domestic support, international trade negotiations, and technical barriers to trade. He was Deputy Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the Pakistan Research Competitive Grants Program, 2012-2016. His research interests include International trade, agricultural policy, macroeconomic econometric modeling.

Dr. Ahmed Pirzada

Assistant Professor, University of Bristol, UK.

PhD (Economics), University of Bristol, UK | MSc (Economics & Econometrics), University of Bristol, UK | BSc (Hons) Economics, University of Bath, UK.

Ahmed Pirzada has previously worked at the Queen Mary University of London as a Visiting Lecturer, at the Bank of England as a PhD Intern, at the Planning Commission of Pakistan as an Economic Consultant, and, at the Cambridge Econometrics Ltd. as an Assistant Economist. His research interests include inflation dynamics in NK models, production networks, financial frictions, and monetary policy.

Dr. Sultan Mehmood

Assistant Professor of Economics, the New Economic School, Moscow

PhD (Economics), University of Paris, France.

Sultan Mehmood is a post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Paris, France and soon to join as an Assistant Professor of Economics, the New Economic School, Moscow. His research interest include development economics and political economy, and rule of law in societies and its consequences for institutional design and development.

Dr. Asma Hyder

Professor of Economics, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Post-Doctorate (Development Economics and International Development), University of Pennsylvania | PhD (Economics), National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad | MPhil (Economics), Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad | MSc (Economics), University of Balochistan.

Asma Hyder remained Member (Scoail Sector), Planning Commission of Pakistan; Associate Professor, IBA, Karachi and NUS, Islamabad; Visiting Research Scholar and Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa; Visiting Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science; and Research Fellow at PIDE Islamabad. Her research interests include economic growth, governance, social sector development, labour force participation and wages.

Dr. Zain Ul-Abdin

Director General (Research & Development), Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.

PhD (Information Technology), Halmstad University, Sweden | PhD (Computer Science), Örebro Universitet, Sweden | MS (Computer System Engineering), Halmstad University, Sweden | BE (Electrical Engineering), UET, Taxila.

Dr. Athar Maqsood Ahmed

Professor of Economics. School of Social Science and Humanities, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad.

Ph.D. (Economics) The Johns Hopkins University, USA. | MA (Economics) University of Waterloo, Canada | M.Sc. (Economics) Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

Ather Maqsood Ahmed is one of Pakistan’s eminent economists. He is the founder of renowned Department of Economics at NUST. Prior to joining NUST, Professor Ahmed testified before the Standing Committees of Senate of Pakistan and National Assembly and held extensive deliberations with representatives of international donor agencies on matters of interest for Government of Pakistan. He also served as researcher at PIDE and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). His extensive research has been published in the shape of various books, national and international journal articles, and research reports. He has supervised a large number of PhD and MPhil/MS dissertations. His research interests include macroeconomics, public finance, applied econometrics, monetary economics, and economic demography.

Dr. Heman Das Lohano

Professor of Economics, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

PhD (Applied Economics), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA | MS (Applied Economics), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA.

Heman Das Lohano is a Professor of Economics at IBA, Karachi. Previously, he has worked as a Senior Economist with SANDEE, ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal. He received PhD in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in environmental economics and applied microeconomics. He received the Best Researcher Award from IBA in 2014 and 2018.

Dr. Abdul Salam Lodhi

Professor/ Director University College of Zhob, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences.

PhD (Economics) Bonn Graduate School of Development Economics, University of Bonn, Germany

Dr. Abdul Salam Lodhi is a professor of Economics at BUITEMS. Presently he is working as Director University College of Zhob, BUITEMS, earlier to that he also served as Dean Faculty of Management Sciences and Chairman Department of Economics, from September 2014 to May 2017, and January 2013 to September 2014, respectively. His research interests include public economics, labor economics, agricultural economics, political economy, and human resource development. In 2015, HEC declared him as Best University Teacher of BUITEMS.

Dr. Durr e Nayab

Joint Director/Director (Research), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad

Ph.D. Australian National University (ANU), Canberra | M.S. Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia | M.Sc. Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Durr e Nayab is the head of research at PIDE. Her research experience span over 28 years. Her research interests include health demography, class structure, and age structure dynamics.

Mr. Omer Siddique

Senior Research Economist, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad

PhD (Economics), The New School University, New York, USA (ABD) | MPhil (Economics), The New School University, New York, USA | MPhil (Economics), Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad | MSc (Economics), Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad.

Omer Siddique is a Senior Research Economist at PIDE. His research interests include microeconomics, development economics, and history of economic thought.

Dr. Junaid Alam Memon

Assistant Professor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad

PhD (Regional and Rural Development Planning), The Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand | Master (Rural Development), Sindh Development Studies Centre, Jamshoro | MBA, Institute of Business Administration, Jamshoro.

Junaid Alam Memon is Assistant Professor at PIDE, Islamabad where he served as Head Departments of Environmental Economics and Development Studies. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington, the USA. Since 2012, he is serving the International Society of Environment and Rural Development (ISERD) Japan as its Regional Vice President. His research interests revolve around the nexus between society, environment and natural resources.


Dr. Faheem Jehangir Khan

Senior Research Economist / Project Manager, RASTA, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad

PhD (Public Policy), University of Bristol, UK | MSc (Development Policy), University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany | BSc Hons (Ag. Economics), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Faheem Jehangir is a senior researcher at PIDE. He worked with the National School of Public Policy (NSPP), UNDP Pakistan, GIZ Pakistan, ILO Pakistan and some leading training institutes in Pakistan on different research and training assignments. His expertise include public policy process, policy networks and network governance, public sector management, foreign aid, training & development, data visualization and qualitative research.

Dr. Shaheen Naseer

Assistant Professor of Economics, Lahore School of Economics , Pakistan 

PhD (Law and Economics), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. | MPhil (Economics), PIDE, Islamabad | Masters (Economics) Quaid-e-Azam Univeristy, Islamabad

Shaheen Naseer is an Assistant Professor of Economics, and Senior Research Fellow at Centre for Research in Economics and Business (CREB). She has been a visiting PhD Scholar at University of Bologna and University of Humburg, Germany.  She has worked as a Centennial Center Scholar at American Political Association, Washington, D.C. Her research interests include Evidence-based public policy and political economy.

Dr. Izza Aftab

Chairperson Economics Department, Information Technology University, Lahore

PhD (Economics), The New School, New York City, USA | MA (Economics), The New School New York City, USA | MS (Public Policy), Beaconhouse National University.

Dr. Izza Aftab is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Information Technology University at Lahore. She is the founding Chairperson of the Economics Department at ITU Lahore. She is also the Director of the SDG Tech Lab at ITU, set up in collaboration with the UNDP and UNFPA, and the Program Director of Safer Society for Children. The SSC has been set up in collaboration with US Embassy, Islamabad. Her research interests include firm level innovation, economics of innovation, SDG, CPEC, BRI, structural macroeconomics and child protection.

Dr. Zahid Asghar

Professor and Director, School of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

PhD (Economics), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad | MSc (Statistics)

Zahid Asghar is the Director of School of Economics at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He served as senior faculty at the National Institute of Banking and Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, Islamabad, and remained Chairman, Department of Statistics at QAU. His areas of research mainly include Data Analysis, Data Visualization, Data for Policy, Development Economics, Applied Econometrics, Official Statistics and Economy of cities. His teaching interests mainly include data for development, applied economics, econometrics, and urban economics. He is also strong proponent of re-thinking cities as centers of idea sharing, knowledge generation, social inclusion and engine of growth.

Dr. Ryan Cardwell

Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada

PhD (Agricultural Economics), University of Saskatchewan, Canada | M.A. (Economics), University of British Columbia, Canada | B.A. Hons. (Economics) University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Ryan Cardwell is a Professor in the Department of Agribusiness & Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba. Ryan is President of the Canadian Council of the International Association of Agricultural Economists and is a Member of the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. He worked at a private-sector economic forecasting firm in Philadelphia (Moody’s Analytics/ for three years after completing a MA in economics at the University of British Columbia. He then earned a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan before moving to Winnipeg. His areas of expertise include agricultural and food policy, international trade policy, and international food assistance.

Dr. Adeel Malik

Associate Professor & Globe Fellow in Economies of Muslim Societies, Department of International Development, University of Oxford, UK

Doctorate in Economics (University of Oxford, UK) | M.Phil. in Economics

Professor Adeel Malik is Globe Fellow in the Economies of Muslim Societies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and an Associate Professor in Development Economics at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development. He received his doctorate in economics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Malik is an empirical economist with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation. He is trying to develop a broader research lens to study Middle Eastern political economy. Professor Malik’s research articles have appeared in the Journal of Development Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, World Development, Review of International Political Economy, and Modern Asian Studies. His areas of expertise include political economy of development and Politics of trade and finance in developing societies. Malik’s research has featured in the CNN, Financial Times, the New York Times, Project Syndicate, and Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Safdar Ali Sohail 

Dean, National Institute of Public Policy, National School of Public Policy, Lahore

Ph. D. in Sociology, Paris University X, Nanterre, France

Dr. Safdar A. Sohail is Dean of National Institute of Public Policy (NIPP). A retired career civil servant, Dr. Sohail belonged to the Commerce and Trade Service, government of Pakistan. He carries a PhD in Sociology of Politics. Dr Sohail retired as Special Secretary Cabinet, Government of Pakistan in May 2020. In his civil service career spread over thirty five years, he served in various capacities combining traditional jobs as a Ministry of Commerce Officer with policy research, training of civil servants, governance reforms and trade diplomacy. He has also served as DG National Institute of Management Islamabad, DG CPEC Center of Excellence at the Planning Commission, Pakistan’s Economic Minister to EU and Member Governance at the Planning Commission.




Nazam Maqbool 

Economist, RASTA PMU

MPhil (Economics), Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

Nazam Maqbool is currently working for the RASTA-PIDE as an Economist. Earlier, he worked as a Policy Analyst for the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre (MHHDC) and the Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC), LUMS (2007-2020). He also taught courses in Development Economics and the Economy of Pakistan (2002-2004). His research focuses on the intersection of Inequality, Environment and Economic Development.

Dr. Sajid Khan

Social Scientist / Economist, RASTA PIDE, Pakistan

Ph.D. (Management) Massey University, New Zealand.| PG Diploma (HRM) Massey University, New Zealand | M.A. (International Relations) Peshawar University, Pakistan.| MBA (HRD) Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences), Peshawar, Pakistan. Sajid has work experience in government, academia and industry. He has worked as WMS Change Champion for Foodstuffs North Island, New Zealand, Teaching and Research Assistant at Massey Business School, New Zealand and Deputy Manager (Admin & HR) at NADRA, Pakistan. His research interests are in organizational change, Innovation management, pedagogical theory, Dilemma management and instruction assessment.

Saeed ul Riaz 

Accounts Officer, RASTA PMU

Saeed ul Riaz has worked with local and international development sector institutions. His area of specialization includes grant management, budgeting and accounts preparation. He has served in the USAID Pakistan mission in the financial management office. He also worked as Program Manager with non-government organizations.

Muhammad Shahzad Afsar

Incharge Admin, RASTA PMU

MLIS(Library Sciences), Sarhad University, Peshawar.
Muhammad Shahzad Afsar is currently working for the RASTA-PIDE as an Admin Officer.


RASTA’s Panel of Chief Economist

Mr. Ahmed Zubair

Chief Economist

Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

Mr. Ghous Bakhsh Marri

Chief Economist

Planning and Development Department, Government of Baluchistan, Pakistan

Mr Nauman Afzal Afridi

Chief Economist

Planning and Development Department, Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Dr. Aman Ullah

Joint Chief Economist

Planning and Development Board, Government of Punjab, Pakistan

Dr Naeem Zafar

Chief Economist

Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh, Pakistan

Mr. Sajjad Hyder

Chief Economist

Planning and Development Department, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Mr Muhammad Shamoon Hashmi

Chief Economist

Planning and Development Department, Government of AJK, Pakistan.

RASTA’s Panel of Academicians

Invitations extended…