Diplomat, political strategist, academic, journalist and author, Maleeha Lodhi is currently based in Islamabad. Among her many accomplishments she has served as editor of The Muslim and founding editor of The News, as well as High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the USA, and Pakistan’s  Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She is the author of  two books, Pakistan: the External Challenge and Pakistan’s Encounter with Democracy and editor of a third, Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State. She has won many awards and plaudits throughout her illustrious career including the Hilal-e-Imtiaz for public service and several honorary fellowships and doctorates. She serves on several international committees and advisory panels including the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum

Diplomat, Academic, Editor and Author

MALEEHA LODHI    Hilal-e-Imtiaz

Alice Albinia is an English author and journalist. Her first book Empires of the Indus: the Story of a River  was awarded the Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction by the Royal Society of Literature in 2005 as well as the Dolman Travel Prize and the Somerset Maughm Award in 2009. Her debut novel Leela’s Book (2012) is a re-telling of the Mahabarata, set in modern Delhi where she lived and worked as a journalist for two years. 

Author and Journalist


Ahmed Rashid is an award-winning Pakistani journalist based in Lahore, who has covered Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia for a variety of publications since 1979. He is the author of six books: The Resurgence of Central Asia (1994), Taliban (2000), Jihad (2002), Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia (2008) and Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan (2012). He writes widely for international newspapers, currently the Financial Times and the New York Times. His books have won numerous prizes and he lectures widely around the world. In 2001 he donated one third of his book profits to establish the Open Media Fund of Afghanistan which revitalized the media and helped launch a dozen newspapers and magazines in Kabul. He is a founding director of the Lahore Literary Festival.

Author and Journalist


Homa Khaleeli is a journalist based in London. She is the joint deputy features editor of the UK’s Guardian newspaper. She writes for The Guardian on a variety of subjects with a special focus on women’s issues and Muslim culture. She is the great-niece of Zeenat Haroon Rashid.

Editor and Journalist


Having worked for several years at Allen Lane, the non-fiction imprint of Penguin Books, Shan Vahidy is now a freelance editor working in London. She specialises in heavy-duty non-fiction books on economics, politics and society. She is the granddaughter of Zeenat Haroon Rashid and a permanent co-ordinating judge on the panel.

Editor and Granddaughter