Tausif Khawaja is appointed to the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat as Head of Habitat Improvement, Pakistan, based in Islamabad. He joins from USAID where he has been Senior Engineering Advisor since 2013.
The Aga Khan Agency for the Habitat (AKAH) was created in 2016 by bringing together the supra-national capabilities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – a constellation of international, non-denominational institutions working collaboratively to address the challenges of improving the living condition of marginalised peoples around the world, specifically in Africa and Asia. The aim of AKAH is to focus expressly on built habitat and human settlements in high risk areas across Central and South Asia.
Society conducted a global search for candidates with expertise in urban and rural planning and management, habitat development and hazard resilient construction. Those with experience in Central or South Asia with a cultural sensitivity to communities in these regions were particularly of interest. The Head of Habitat Improvement will be leading and strengthening a cadre of architects, planners, engineers, social scientists and community mobilisers across Pakistan to achieve improved quality of life for the target population.
Tausif gained a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and a M.Sc Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. He has gained over 20 years of professional experience providing leadership and management of engineering projects in numerous countries, including Pakistan and Kazakhstan, as well as various short-term engineering assignments in Germany, Singapore and China. Most recently, he was a Senior Advisor to the construction component of the $165 million USAID funded Sindh Basic Education Program. This includes the construction of 106 Educational Hubs/state of the art schools.
Upon joining AKAH, Tausif said:
"I have found AKDN a surprisingly good organisation. The most impressive aspects of which are its open culture, healthy work environment and care for its employees.
Society's approach for finding talent has really impressed me in terms of professionalism they showed throughout this long recruitment process. Their expertise in headhunting was evident in all stages of this recruitment.
Megan was the first to convince me to take up this assignment. Her thoroughness, professional expertise and her attention to detail is remarkable. Her insight indeed helped me a lot to make this decision to change."