Asif M. Shaikh is President and CEO of PaxTerra. He was co-founder of International Resources Group (IRG), and served as its CEO for 22 years. He is a widely recognized authority on the future drivers of sustainable development, most recently focusing on the issues of interdependent prosperity, donors as minority shareholders and technical innovation as key to development solutions. His work as a transformational thinker, academic and practitioner encompasses economics, energy, governance, rural development, agriculture and resource policy, and poverty alleviation.
As a thought leader who serves on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), the Executive Committee of the US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Mr. Shaikh’s views are regarded as a key link between policy and practice. He has published extensively and lectured to policy and decision-maker audiences throughout the world. He has led path-breaking field approaches in energy, agriculture, food security, governance and national economic policy. His work has had a significant influence on U.S. global development policy as well as on investment strategies throughout the African continent.
Mr. Shaikh has worked in both technical and advisory capacities in more than 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America and brings a practical knowledge of the challenges of and opportunities for collaborating on the ground with the private sector. He has long been a champion of leveraging commercial capital flows for solutions in development. During his career at IRG, he built a major development implementer that worked in 140 countries and was the first development firm ever to be selected as the federal government Contractor of the Year by GovCon, the Professional Services Council, and Washington Technology Magazine.
Mr. Shaikh has served on numerous oversight and policy boards throughout his career, including for USAID, the World Bank, the National Academy of Sciences, OECD, CILSS, ECOWAS, the Office of Technology Assessment, FAO, WMO and national governments.He is a consistent and constructive critic of traditional development practices who is dedicated to promoting U.S. leadership in the pursuit of global prosperity. Throughout his career, he has been an active member of the policy and technical communities in the United States and in developing countries. Mr. Shaikh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MPhil in Economics from Columbia University.
He currently is affiliated with several non-profits organizations:
- Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
- Principal, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN)
- Executive Committee Member, US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC)
- Board Member, Women Thrive Worldwide
- Board Member, The Blacksmith Institute
- Co-Founder, Coalition of International Development Companies (CIDC)
- Board Member, The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
- President, The Robbins Center for Cross Cultural Communication (a non-profit)
- Advisory Council, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA)
- President Emeritus/Board Member, Society for International Development, Washington D.C. Chapter
- Former Executive Committee Member, Professional Services Council
- Member, The Bretton Woods Committee