Syed Mahboob Shah, MD, MPH, PhD
President & Co-Founder

Dr. Syed Shah was born and raised in Bubur Punyal in his hometown valley of Gilgit Baltistan. He completed his undergraduate and medical training in Khyber Medical College in his home country of Pakistan. He went to USA to complete MPH in international health, and PhD in Epidemiology from the Houston Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health, at the University of Texas, USA. He looked after patients taught medical students as Faculty in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan during 1989-2001. He also worked as Research Scientist in Olympia with Washington State Government, USA, in 2001-2004, and as faculty and Associate Professor in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2004-2008. He is currently working at the Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University in UAE. His primary research focuses on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. He is the author or co-author of over 65 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.

He was honored to complete Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program in 2014-15. World Heart Federation selected him as Emerging Leader in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention in 2015. WHO has selected him recently as chronic disease prevention specialist to help member countries in EMRO Region to establish surveillance system for NCDs.

As Co-founder of Silkrout to Health, a civil society initiative to improve health education and environment, he will lead the health initiatives with fellow village health professionals to improve health and longevity in the region of Gilgit Baltistan.

Ghulam Ishaque Khan, MSc. CPHQ Co-Founder, Silkroute to Health

Ghulam Ishaque Khan, MSc. CPHQ
Vice President & Co-Founder

Ghulam Ishaque Khan is a healthcare quality improvement professional and a “quality of life” enthusiast. He has contributed significantly to a number of quality improvement initiatives both at private and government bodies in managing and consulting roles in Pakistan and abroad.

A recipient of the AKDN international scholarship, Ghulam Ishaque Khan completed his Master’s degree, with distinction, in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging from University College London (UCL) in 2005. During his association with the Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan (2000-2008) Mr. Khan played leading roles in a number of healthcare quality improvement and expansion projects in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria and Kenya where the organization has its branches or other partnerships.

Mr. Khan maintains his associated with the work of AKDN as an active volunteer through the “time and knowledge initiative” and serves on healthcare quality improvement assignments as a consultant.

As a healthcare quality assessor and advisor at Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) since 2008, Mr. Khan has attained extensive understanding and expertise in developing and implementing quality improvement strategies, regulatory structures and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for healthcare systems. He has led the major task of establishing the regulatory framework for management of medical devices and healthcare technology at the healthcare sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The framework is widely adopted throughout the healthcare sector and has brought about significant improvement in the quality of care and patient safety. He has been nominated twice for the prestigious Abu Dhabi Quality award for his work at the authority.

Mr. Khan is passionate about enhancing the “quality of life” by bringing the benefits of the global advances in health and medicine to those who are less privileged due to their social, economic and geographical situations. He is keen on serving, in volunteer capacity, for causes aimed at improving health and hence the quality of lives of communities especially those in his native region of Gilgit Baltistan.

Asif Rashid Khan, MD

Dr. Asif Rashid Khan is a board certified physician in internal medicine and addiction medicine and an entrepreneur in health care.

He completed his medical degree from The Aga Khan Medical College in Pakistan, and then went to complete internal medicine residency from University of Illinois, Chicago and pursued a fellowship in infectious disease at Indiana University, Indianapolis. After completing his medical training, he joined Multicare Health System in Puyallup, Washington. He then started multiple medical ventures and went into private practice. He is currently CEO of Northwest Integrated Health (NWIH), which delivers integrated physical and behavioral health to people living in Pierce county of Washington state. He is also CEO of Physician Office Laboratory Specialists (POLS), which provides installation, consultation and management of high complexity clinical laboratories in the United States to physician offices and independent laboratories. He is also a member of board of directors at Medtest Holdings, INC. and Key Opinion Leader for North America for Mindray Medical. He is also founder of Western Himalaya Research and Development Organization, a registered NGO in Gilgit-Baltistan since 2008.

Dr Khan is core faculty and member GME committee for psychiatry residency at Puget Sound Psychiatry Center in Bothell Washington.

He lives in Tacoma, Washington with his wife Dr. Qudsia Khan and two daughters.

Nishat Riaz
Director Education

Nishat has 15 years of experience of managing development programmes. She has supervised large scale programmes on health, gender, skills, culture and education. Nishat is one of the founding members of Karakkurum International University- the first university in mountain ranges in Karakurum and Himalyas. Nishat is also associated with Aga Khan Development Network as director since 1999.

Nishat’s holds an engineering degree in Electronics and Communications – the first female engineer from Gilgit Baltistan. She was the Premier Chevening Scholar from Pakistan in 2003 and twice recipient of president’s Award of Excellence for best academic performance. She is a registered British Alumnus with an MA in International Development from University of Manchester. Nishat believes in continued professional and academic development, and is currently conducting research on education leadership as part of her PhD research studies.

At present, Nishat is managing British Council’s education work in Pakistan as Director Education. Her portfolio includes management and implementation of multi- million dollar education programme covering schools, skills, higher education and British Council Services for International Education Marketing (BC SIEM) work.

Nishat is an avid social media activist and could be reached at @nishatriaz on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Nishat is married to Moin Uddin who works for Aga Khan Fund for Economic Fund, has three boys and is settled in Islamabad.


Shah Raees Khan (Ph.D., EP.)
Director Environment

Dr. Shah Raees Khan is an environmental professional with over twelve years of experience in oil industry, private sector with national and international experience in environmental planning, management and impact assessments. He earned his Ph.D. in Environment and NRM from the University of Manitoba, and Master’s in Sustainable International Development, from Brandeis University, USA. He was awarded a Diploma in Environmental Education from University of Strathclyde, UK in 2000 sponsored by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI) Pakistan.

Dr. Khan has attained extensive experience in environmental impact studies of infrastructure project developments in western Canada. His main areas of expertise include design environmental impact studies, biophysical assessments, environmental monitoring, and development of mitigation plans. He has undertaken diversity of environmental projects in Oil and Gas, Transportation, Infrastructure development sectors with particular emphasis on environmental impact assessment (EIAs), site assessments and regulatory compliance and permitting. He is currently performing Environmental Advisor role at Envirolead Canada. He worked with Chevron and Apache Canada, as an Environmental Representative for Kitimat LNG Project, British Columbia Canada, where he developed an environmental management plans for early works in an environmentally sensitive zone of Kitimat, British Columbia.

He worked with Biophilia Inc. as a Sr. Environmental Scientist for over three years on environmental assessment and remediation projects. His experience also includes conducting environmental research, developing mapping techniques, and performing GIS analysis for epidemiological surveys for Public Health Agency Canada at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. During 2002-2003 he worked with Aga Khan Foundation in Washington DC. USA as an Associate, where he worked on a number of projects for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was also a Conservation Officer with the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), based in Northern Pakistan, where he promoted conservation education in Northern Pakistan.