LEADERSHIP

MOHAMMAD HOTAK

Dr Hotak comes from a longstanding background in healthcare, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. He is a strong tri-sector leader with extensive experience in the public, private and non-governmental sectors. Dr. Hotak has worked in National Health Services in United Kingdom, has led many community organizations, has been a keen philanthropist and serial entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Central and South Asia Business, MAIH Group, London Partners Corporation, British Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Afghana Foundation. Dr Hotak is national and internationally renowned speaker on Afghanistan in the media, conferences and seminars. 

He holds an MBChB in Medicine from Leeds Medical School and certificates in International Organization Management, Smart Business Growth, Globalization and Leadership. He fluently speaks in English, Pashto, Dari, and Urdu/Hindi. 

MARYAM ATMAR

Ms Atmar is one of the founding members of the British Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and comes from a strong background in investment management, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Having worked for Bank of America and Wells Fargo, she has extensive experience in real estate, stocks, bonds and investment funds management. Ms Atmar is currently the CEO of global consulting firm MAIH Group, director at the Afghanistan Investment Fund, London Partners Corporation and Afghana Foundation. She leads BACCI’s global partnerships and foreign affairs relations with a special focus on USA and Canada. 

She has a BA in Psychology from George Mason University and accredited professional qualifications in accounting and banking management from American Institute of Banking  Investors.  

ZIA-UR-REHMAN ZIA

Mr. Zia comes from a strong background in business, civil society, philanthropy, social and cultural affairs of Afghanistan. Mr. Zia is an expert on Afghanistan tribal, political, and business affairs having acted as senior advisor to Afghan Government ministers. Mr. Zia has served as the Executive Director of the Afghan Craft Carpet Company, the Afghan Watan Construction Company, Hewad Educational, Agricultural and Rehabilitation Organization (HEARO) and currently also serves as the President of the Eastern Afghanistan Carpet Association. Furthermore, he is a prominent voice in Afghan Media and a known candidate in international business forums around the world on Afghanistan. He has been involved in numerous projects promoting civil society and democracy in Afghanistan. Mr. Zia is one of the pioneers of the Beggar Women Project in Afghanistan. This project offers women shelter, food, and training in handcrafts to promote self-sufficiency. Mr Zia’s never ending efforts to bring international investments into Afghanistan, strengthen partnerships between Afghanistan and the rest of the world, and transform the country into a modern 21st century state is a great asset to BACCI.

HASSAN KHAN NASIR

Mr. Nasir is a talented and passionate business leader with over 10 years of experience in British-Afghan trade and commerce. He has extensive experience in imports and exports between United Kingdom and Afghanistan. Prior to joining BACCI, Mr Nasir has been the visionary, business development and marketing mind behind the success of Shadizai & Brothers group of companies. He is an independent business consultant on British-Afghan exports and imports, an active member of the British Afghan community and a Member of Board of Directors at BACCI.  He is fluent in English, Pashto, Dari and Urdu and has deep understanding of Asian business affairs.

Mr Nasir holds Bachelor of Business of Administration.

ADVISORY BOARD 

JOHN BENNETT

John Bennett trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and then served in the British Army as a Commissioned officer. He carried out operations in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Belize and Oman. He retired as a Major and started his commercial career in the textile trade.

John held a number of commercial appointments and in 2003 was invited to work for a company in Iraq in support of the Coalition Forces. He was then appointed as a senior manager based in Iraq working on the Prime Vendor contract for the supply of food and rations throughout the Country. In 2011 John started working for an Afghan Logistics company in Kabul. From there he progressed to a management position for a Western company supplying all the fuel and food for the US Forces. In this role he operated not only from Kabul but also extensively on the North West border at Torghundi and Hairaton. John then went back to working in the Afghan private sector as the Commercial Director for a geotechnical company and then again in the logistics sector both in Helmand and Kabul. Consequently John has strong background of operating in Afghanistan and has extensive experience of dealing with the Afghan authorities.

HAROON RASHID SHERZAD

Haroon Rashid Sherzad has been a Former Acting Minister and Deputy Minister (Policy and Coordination) at Ministry of Counter Narcotics, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Formerly, he was the National Program Officer for Counter Narcotics in United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan. He also worked as the Director General Policy and Coordination and Director of Strategic Communication in the Ministry of Counter Narcotics, in addition to, Security, Development and Governance adviser to the Chief of Staff of the President of Afghanistan; Regional Desk Director in General Directorate of Counter Narcotics of National Security Council. In the private sector, Mr Sherzad has also worked as the country manager of Lapis Communications. Over the last twelve years, Mr. Sherzad has been involved at national, regional and international level for eliminating the drug economy, ensuring security, governance and development in Afghanistan and has drafted the National Drug Control Strategy and other Counter Narcotics thematic policies of Alternative Livelihoods, Drug Demand Reduction, Law Enforcement, Public Awareness, Regional and International Cooperation and drafted Government’s Counter Narcotics Communication Strategy in Afghanistan. He has developed Counter Narcotics Regional Strategy. He authored, “A Broadcasting Model for Afghanistan based on its National Development Strategy”, based on applied research, and is published in international market. He is co-author of “Counter Narcotics Public Information Manual for Planners and Implementers.” He has authored three (soon to be published) books on “Communication Strategy for Development Program”, “Monitoring and Evaluation in Public Awareness Campaigns in Afghanistan,” and “Counter Narcotics: Realities and Challenges.” He has also started writing a short story book “One City, Hundred Stories” based on his 14 years of experience and observations to provide the public with the information of the critical realities of the society with dramatic sense. He is native in the two local languages: Pashto and Dari. He is also fluent in Hindi and English.

He holds a Bachelors of Art in Journalism from Kabul University. Subsequently, he was granted a Fulbright scholarship to Ohio University, USA and received a Master of Arts in Media Management and Communication for Development. He has also attended numerous courses and workshops relevant to his past and prior work in Afghanistan and in many developed and developing countries, prime examples are: study tour in Hiroshima, Japan, to study post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation, study tour in Thailand to understand elimination of drug economy, study tour in Colombia to understand counter narcotics multidimensional interventions.

HEDAYATULLAH YAHYA

Mr. Hedayatullah Yahya is a professional and experienced banker and Chartered Certified Accountant fellow member of ACCA, IFA and IPA. He is Chairman of Supervisory Board at Afghan United Bank in Afghanistan, Chairman of Board of Directors at Enrolment Services Limited and Managing Director/Founder of Yahya Accountancy in the UK. Mr. Yahya is former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Afghan United Bank. He has also served as a Chief Financial Officer for Ghazanfar Bank, and a board member for Afghanistan Payment Systems. He worked at various managerial posts in the telecommunication company of Virgin Media Inc and postgraduate educational institute of London Business School in the UK, for several years.

He has contributed to the success of Professional Development Institute of American University of Afghanistan and ACCA qualification in Afghanistan by tutoring ACCA papers at the University. Mr Yahya graduated with first class honours in accounting and finance from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.

OMAR MANSOOR ANSARI

Omar is Afghanistan’s senior entrepreneur and researcher in ICT. He has more than a decade experience in building institutions, coalition and start-ups. Omar worked with Microsoft and IDRC on software localization and received Microsoft Localization Champion Award. He worked as the Cofounder/ Executive director of Afghan Computer Science Association (ACSA), 1999-2008, and Founder/ Editor-in-Chief of the Computer Science bimonthly.

His most recent work includes founding Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA), Open Source Afghanistan, TechWomen Afghanistan, TechWomen Central Asia, TechDeira, and TechWorks, all platforms for technology promotion and development, and education and networking. Omar is President of TechNation and is Chairing the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan (NICTAA), the country’s largest consortium of ICT players.

NAEEM YASSIN

Naeem Yassin is the President and CEO of Afghanistan Builders Association (ABA), a trade organization that represents about 500 Afghan companies. From 2005 to 2007, he served as a Board Member of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and then served as Secretary of the chamber from 2006 to 2008. Moreover, he is an active Board Member of the Afghanistan Technical & Vocational Institute (ATVI) and a Board Member of Kabul Municipality “Nokhbagan-e-Shahr-e-Kabul”. He has completed his education in Marketing and Management from Queens College of New York.

SHAHEER MOMENI

Shaheer Momeni is a barrister and the Founder and President of the International Association of Afghan Lawyers (IAAL). He is also Co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of the Afghan Professionals Network (APn) – a London based non-governmental organisation. He has experience of working with various Law Firms and Barristers’ Chambers, as well as several human rights and pro-bono organisations. Shaheer is currently a Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Commerce & Industries of Afghanistan, where he has a principal role in reviewing and drafting the commercial, corporate and trade laws of Afghanistan.

Shaheer holds a Law Degree (1st Class) from Brunel University and a Masters Degree (LLM) in Corporate & Financial Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).

 SAIF QAZIZADA

Mr Qazizada is a highly qualified management executive and comes from a strong background in the information technology sector. He has worked as a cyber security expert with global information technology firms such as Computer Science Corporation (CSC) and International Business Machines (IBM). He offers in-depth knowledge of information security, incident handling, compliance and audit, networking, system administration, security architecture, and forensic computing.

Furthermore, Mr Qazizda is the President of Help Afghan Orphan Children and Director of Afghana Foundation. He holds a B.Sc in computing, an M.Sc in internet security and speaks six different languages.