Meet the 2023 Winners of the Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Achievement Awards
The Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Achievement Awards (VC AAA) recognise outstanding alumni for their exemplary accomplishments across sectors, including contributions made and services rendered in communities locally and around the world, with a commitment that reflects the LUMS spirit.
This year's awardees were celebrated at the Alumni Homecoming 2023. From scoring big in academia and leading global organisations, to spearheading social change in Pakistan, this year’s cohort continue to make LUMS proud on an international scale. Learn about the impactful work they are doing and explore their inspiring journeys.
Muhammad Usman Hanif Alvi
National Sales Operations Manager
Reckitt Benckiser Arabia, UAE
Alvi is a seasoned FMCG professional with over a decade of experience in the Middle East. Starting as a Management Trainee in IFFCO UAE in 2012, he has held various commercial roles in Sales and Trade Marketing in the last 11 years across IFFCO and Reckitt. He has served as global ambassador of LUMS, having actively led as the Vice President for the UAE Alumni Chapter. Alvi initially volunteered for the UAE Alumni Chapter in 2013 and was then elected as Vice President for two terms consecutively. He has worked tirelessly in bringing LUMS diaspora closer through the UAE Alumni Chapter and arranged various events including the annual 2021 reunion which was held in the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. He also took the lead in the ‘Give a Day to LUMS’ campaign and helped the UAE Chapter become one of the top contributing chapters. He is always eager to help and mentor alumni who are settling in the UAE or visiting for job prospects.
Chief Executive Officer & President,
Bank Islami, Pakistan
Ata is one of the pioneers of the Islamic Banking Industry in Pakistan. He has been associated with Bank Islami since 2019 and has played an instrumental role in the exceptional growth that the bank has achieved since then. Prior to joining Bank Islami, Ata has served in several leadership roles in different local and international banks, such as Group Head Islamic Banking at Bank Alfalah, Group Chief Islamic Banking at Allied Bank, Group Head Branch Network and SME at Meezan Bank, as well as senior roles at Emirates Bank International. Along with a rich banking experience, Ata has a strong academic background with an EMBA from LUMS and other leadership and management certifications from INSEAD and University of London.
Former CEO, Aga Khan Cultural Service
Originally from Hunza, Beg completed his intermediate studies and followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Pakistan Army. As a second lieutenant he was on the frontline in combat in 1971. He served as an instructor and regimental soldier, and in 1988 led a company on the Baltoro glacier, the highest battlefield in the world. After taking leave from the army in 1995, he completed an MBA in 1997 from LUMS and briefly taught at Bahria University before joining Aga Khan Cultural Service in October 1998. He served as CEO for over 22 years before stepping down communities in the high mountain valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan and dense urban settings in the walled city of Lahore and improving lives by using natural and cultural heritage as assets for meaningful development. Noteworthy projects include the repurposing of forts/palaces of Altit, Shigar and Khaplu and conservation of the Shahi Hammam and Wazir Khan Mosque and Lahore Fort’s Picture Wall, Royal Kitchen, Naulakha Pavilion and Summer Palace. Tangible impacts include employment creation, skills improvement and a sustained and continual flow of material benefits.
Global Category Marketing Head, Kimberly-Clark
Zaman is a senior executive with more than 25 years of extensive global marketing and commercial experience, working for some of the leading blue chip multi-national companies like Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company and most recently, Kimberly-Clark. He has managed over 120 markets across the world ranging from the most developed to newly emerging ones in Asia, Europe, Africa, and USA. An expert in creating, developing, and implementing business/brand vision and strategies across different categories, Zaman has turned around USD 7 B+ Baby & Childcare portfolio at Kimberly- Clark to profitable accelerated growth, transformed businesses in key global markets at Coke like Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Italy, Pakistan (from 15% share of market-to-market leader) and Eurasia. Zaman is the founder of the biggest global branded music platform ‘Coke Studio’, that was incubated in Pakistan and then scaled to 100+ markets globally with 15 B+ views.
Yahya Iqbal Ismail
Managing Director, Julius Baer Middle East
Ismail has been flying the LUMS flag high! In 1997, he represented the University at World International Business Games and secured the gold medal for LUMS. This was in Georgia Southern University, USA, and played by over 100 business schools all over the world. After graduating from LUMS, Ismail completed his CFA as well as Private Banking Diploma from INSEAD. Over the last 25 years, Ismail has created a name for himself in the corporate world of Dubai, mainly in the Private Banking field. He has been working with Private Bankers in Dubai at Julius Baer. Ismail has also been working with some of the wealthiest families in the region and has been able to assist in creating family governance structures that endure multi- generational transition. Earlier, Ismail was also a business journalist. He wrote regularly on business issues and company valuation. Besides work, Ismail has also been focusing on giving back to society. He, along with his siblings, successfully completed the fundraising for a TCF School at Tando Allahyar, Sindh. Ismail has multinational banks like ABN AMRO and Julius Baer. Now, he leads one of the largest and most successful team of been actively recruiting and promoting LUMS graduates.
Muhammad Bilal Lakhani
Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Thorn
Lakhani is an award-winning journalist and leads communications and marketing for Thorn, a non-profit founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, dedicated to defending children from sexual abuse. He is also a columnist for the Express Tribune and has delivered blockbuster interviews with key leaders in the country, including the President of Pakistan as well as the Foreign Minister. Lakhani also directed a series of mini documentaries on Extraordinary Pakistanis, which have over 20 million lifetime views and helped raise funds to build a primary school in interior Sindh. He has also served as a founding board member for The Citizen Foundation’s (TCF) chapter in Switzerland. Lakhani is the first and only Pakistani to win a PR 40 Under 40 award, one of the highest honours in the industry globally. He is also the founder & host of Pehchaan, a podcast dedicated to unpacking the stories and identities of extraordinary Pakistani Americans. He started this podcast so we could have these conversations as a community, share stories and hopefully, inspire each other to find themselves and their voice as a Pakistan-American community.
Senior International Legal Advisor, South Asia,
International Commission of Jurists
Omer completed her BA-LL.B from LUMS, where she graduated on the Dean’s List with a gold medal. The same year, she won the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for an LL.M in Public International Law at the University of Cambridge. After she completed her LL.M in 2010, she was awarded the Pegasus Commonwealth Award to work on human rights issues in the United Kingdom. In 2011, she joined the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). She currently serves as the ICJ’s Senior International Legal Adviser for South Asia. She is also the organisation’s focal person for Asia for the independence of judges and lawyers. Omer has authored several reports and book chapters on issues relating to human rights and the rule of law. She also writes for national and international publications on human rights and social justice. She has been appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Islamabad High Court on key constitutional and human rights cases. Since 2018, she regularly appears on Geo News as a panellist to provide analysis on legal issues.
CEO and Co-Founder, Edkasa
Sadiq is a 2016 Fulbright scholar, 2017 Education Pioneers Graduate and 2019 Rockerfeller Foundation Fellow. More than her own credentials, she is focused on building Pakistan’s education system. An optimistic educator who has experienced life in multiple countries, Sadiq remains hopeful over Pakistan’s future, and confident that education can bridge the gap between the world that we have and the world that we want. She currently leads education delivery at Edkasa that has taught over half a million students in Pakistan and is the most watched online learning platform in the country. She has over a decade of experience in and around education policy – in Pakistan and the USA – and is now broadening her horizon to Pakistan’s rural areas. This, she says, is where the real change begins. She sees herself as a resolute educator and knows her role as an educator and as a mother will evolve over the years to be a mentor – to the thousands of learners she is currently teaching through Edkasa.
Nida Yousaf Sheikh
CEO, Tayaba Welfare International Association (TWIA)
Sheikh is a determined individual who has discovered her Ikigai (life purpose) in social transformation and sustainability. After graduating from LUMS, she began her social innovation journey by supporting female entrepreneurs and emphasising inclusive decision-making for positive impact. She was recognised by the Government of Pakistan as a young changemaker, for identifying and scaling sustainable projects for marginalised communities. Graduating with distinction and an MSc in Economic Psychology from the London School of Economics in 2019, Sheikh’s research on rural female entrepreneurship and social innovation, conducted during the programme, has been published and recognised. Currently, as CEO of Tayaba, Sheikh spearheads the organisation’s expansion strategy and organisational development. This social enterprise, driven by blockchain technology, is improving water access, sanitation, and economic opportunities in Pakistan. In less than three years, she has made a significant impact through Tayaba, positively impacting over half a million lives by providing access to H2O (Help-2-Others) solutions. These include H2O Wheels, Solar and Air Water Facilities, and Hygiene Kits, all designed for lasting impact and leveraging renewable resources. She recently became the first Pakistani social innovator ever to win the Young Leader Award in ‘One Young World’s LEAD 2030 Challenge’, which is a highly competitive recognition with less than a 1% acceptance rate.