Chair of the Board
Mohammad Javed Khan is Professor and Head of the Aerospace Science Engineering Department at Tuskegee University. He has been on the faculty of Tuskegee University since 2000. Javed is passionate about identifying and facilitating academic opportunities for youth from underserved and underrepresented communities.
Javed hails from a family well-known for its contributions to education in Pakistan, specifically in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in particular. Prior to his joining Tuskegee University, he had a distinguished career in the Pakistan Air Force and served in various field, staff, instructional, command, overseas advisory, and R&D positions, retiring as a Brigadier General.
Javed has an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the PAF College of Aeronautical Engineering, an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University. Javed is fluent in several languages including Pashto, Urdu, Punjabi, and English.
Javed has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2020.
Ambassador (r) Christina Rocca served as Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2006-2009; as head of delegation to the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in 2006; and as head of delegation to United Nation General Assembly First Committee sessions on armament issues (2006-2008).
From 2001-2006, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, responsible for managing U.S. policies in this region. Her tenure as Assistant Secretary started with the events of 9/11 and included: the subsequent beginning of reconstruction in Afghanistan; changes in policy towards India and Pakistan; managing a nuclear stand-off between India and Pakistan; the tsunami in India and Sri Lanka; and the earthquake in Pakistan, among other crises. During this time she developed a broad experience working with NGOs that were active in South Asia.
Her 27 years of government service also included working on Capitol Hill, in both the House and the Senate, on issues of foreign assistance budgets and programs as well as legislation that directly affected South and Central Asia. For the past six years, she has worked as a strategic consultant for CBR Strategies, focusing on South Asian and European companies seeking work in the US market and US companies involved in South Asia and Europe.
Ambassador Rocca earned her BA in History from King’s College London. She has been a member of CAI’s Board of Directors since 2018.
Lorre Jay is President and founder of Portfolio Valuation Advisors, a valuation consultancy located in Bozeman, MT. She is also an adjunct professor of finance at the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Montana State University. Before that, Lorre was a Managing Director at Duff & Phelps where she advised boards of directors, management teams, and individuals on portfolio valuations for private equity and hedge funds, valuations for tax, financial reporting, and fairness and solvency opinions.
She has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and large not-for-profit healthcare companies for more than 20 years. She has worked on projects for companies in Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, England, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, India, Bolivia and Japan, She has published articles on goodwill impairment, debt exchanges, and fairness opinions and has presented to students on finance topics at Stanford University, Indiana University and Montana State University. She mentors UCLA female graduate and undergraduate students.
Lorre also worked in Poland assisting the Polish banks to learn corporate finance skills on a USAID contract working with Bank Handlowy w Warszawie (now Citibank) and Bank Roswoju Eksportu (now mBank). Lorre has an MBA from UCLA and a Bachelor’s in Business/Finance from the University of Wisconsin.
Lorre has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2020.
Eileen Shields-West served as a correspondent of TIME Magazine and San Francisco Bureau Chief for TIME. She has reported for CBS, CNN, and NPR, and written a book on political campaigns called “The World Almanac of Political Campaigns” (1992). Ms. Shields-West also edited and contributed to “Choosing the Right Educational Path for Your Child” (2008), a book on twenty-first-century schools.
She is chair emeritus of Refugees International, a leading nonprofit organization that advocates for refugees and the internally displaced; she traveled to such places as Darfur, South Sudan, Rwanda, the Congo, Thailand Bangladesh, and Cambodia to advocate on refugee issues. She is currently chair of the board of The SEED Foundation, which is responsible for setting up the first public charter boarding school in the nation.
Shields-West also sits on the board of IREX, Fairwinds – Nantucket’s Counseling Center, and is a member of Georgetown University’s MSFS Advisory Board. She volunteers as a Bookpal in D.C. public schools. She holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Eileen has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2020.
Adnan Ahmedis a veteran CEO. He brings with him over 25 years of experience leading teams at Fortune 500 companies and startups to create transformational growth. He is currently the Global President of MarketsandMarkets, a market research company. Adnan was previously CEO of Marketwired, a leading global newswire company that he led to a successful exit and merger with Nasdaq, and of Blue Top Capital, a technology-powered crowdfunding platform for real estate investments. He has also held various leadership roles at Dun & Bradstreet, Danaher, Motorola, and Bain & Company.
Adnan has lived, worked and/or traveled in over 37 countries and is passionate about children’s education and development, especially in underserved areas where he has seen firsthand the effect of poverty and lack of educational opportunities on these children and their communities.
Adnan has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a dual-degree A.B./B.E. in Electronics Engineering from Dartmouth College.
Adnan has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2021.
Mina Sherzoy is an accomplished international development specialist/practitioner. She brings with her 25 years of success in business and expertise in economic empowerment, capacity building, entrepreneurship, and gender equality.
Currently, CEO and President of Excel Consulting International, she specializes in technical and strategic advising, targeted research, proposal development, and event planning.
Since 2011, Mina has held key leadership roles in international development projects, including Director for Business Association Development at USAID/Trade Show Support Activities and Director for the $40M USAID Promote Women in Government (WIG) program – the largest women’s empowerment project in the world. Through her leadership, she has established a formal competitive process to select women applying for GIROA internship opportunities. One of her recent accomplishments was the creation of a women’s Home-Based Workers Network in northern Afghanistan.
Previously, she held roles as Country Director for Training & Capacity Building, Technical Deputy Chief of Party, and Senior Gender Advisor at Chemonics International, Inc. At Chemonics she led the high-profile Financial Access for Investing in Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project that provided the people of Afghanistan with access to an array of programs and opportunities in the banking and finance realm.
Mina held consulting, advising, and program management positions at the following organizations: Chemonics International, DAI, Deloitte, and BearingPoint. She has also worked with NGOs and on private-sector initiatives. Notably, she founded the Afghan Women Business Association and Afghan Women Business Federation (AWBF). Additionally, she worked with USAID to launch Afghanistan’s first female private-sector business federation.
As an observer, she participated in the Afghanistan Independent Election Commission. She is also a member of the South Asian Women’s Network, volunteers for the U.S. Institute of Peace, is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, and served as Content Manager at the 2nd Bilateral Security Agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Former First Lady Laura Bush has written a chapter in her recent book We Are Afghan Women about Mina’s good work.
Mina holds a bachelor’s in Business/Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters for her work in Afghanistan.
Mina has been a member of Central Asia Institute’s Board of Directors since 2019.
Peter Thatcher is a retired international finance and management executive. Early in his career he spent nearly two years in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.
He studied Middle Eastern history during summers at Harvard University, and earned an M.A. in food research at Stanford University in 1966. His career included living in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Cairo, Egypt, Moscow, and Vladivostok, Russia. In Washington, DC, he worked for the US Agency for International Development as Senior Agribusiness Advisor for the former Soviet Union and the Balkans.
In Bozeman, Peter served at both the Montana State University College of Agriculture and Engineering Research Center. Peter has been a member of CAI’s Board of Directors since 2012.
Ambassador Asif Chaudhry became the Vice President for International Programs (IP) at Washington State University in June 2015. He is the chief international relations officer at the University and is responsible for IP’s role in carrying out WSU’s mission of global engagement. Ambassador Chaudhry manages WSU’s extensive internationalization program that focuses on establishing strategic partnerships with governments and educational institutions across the globe.
Ambassador Chaudhry was assigned as the Vice President of the Commodity Credit Corporation of the United States Department of Agriculture managing a $5.5 billion credit guarantees program to support exports of U.S. food and agricultural commodities.
In July 2014, he completed a three-year assignment as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of United States Navy (CNO) at the Pentagon. He was the U.S. Ambassador the Republic of Moldova from 2008-2011 where he helped with the country’s transformation to a true democracy and forge closer relationships with the United States and the European Union.
Prior to that assignment, Ambassador Chaudhry was the Deputy Administrator for the Office of Global Analysis at Foreign Agricultural Service (2006-2008) managing the development of policy and analysis to support World Trade Organization negotiations and bilateral free trade agreements. As Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt (2002-2006), he oversaw trade relations between the U.S. and five countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he had a brief stint as a Professor of Economics at Montana State University. Ambassador Chaudhry holds a Ph.D. in Ag-Economics from Washington State University and a Master’s Degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He speaks Russian, Arabic, Polish, Urdu and Punjabi, and received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award for his contributions in the conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy.
Asif was a member of the Board of Directors from 2015 to 2022.
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