Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli, who is the daughter of renowned physicist Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui, has an MA and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University. She
Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli
Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli, who is the daughter of renowned physicist Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui, has an MA and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and past member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Shirin is a Pakistani-American political scientist and an Ambassador. In 2006, she was appointed as the first Ambassador for women's empowerment to the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on United Nations Reform.
Dr. Tahir-Kheli was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations at the White House National Security Council, from 2003-2005. She has served three Republican presidential administrations since 1980.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Tahir-Kheli was the Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University Foreign Policy Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, in Washington, DC, where she was the founding Director of the South Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Institute (1992-2002).
Ambassador Tahir-Kheli has dedicated more than a dozen years to finding areas of agreement between India and Pakistan that could change their relationship to one of productive peace. Concerning that end, she has been chair of the twelve member BALUSA Group meetings composed of senior Indian, Pakistani, and U.S. participants that is geared toward influencing policy toward cooperation. She has co-chaired an important study on ‘Water and Security in South Asia’, and has been co-chair of an effort to promote India-Pakistan cooperation in the fields of energy and the environment.
She served as a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Distinguished Advisory Panel for Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Advisory Board of Princeton University's Institute for the Trans-regional Study of Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
Dr. Tahir-Kheli was an alternate United States representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs serving from 1990 to 1993. She also served as Director of Political Military Affairs and then as Director of Near East and South Asian Affairs from 1984 to 1989 with the National Security Council staff. From 1982 to 1984, Tahir-Kheli was a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and past member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli was named by Newsweek in 2011 as one of the ‘150 Women Who Shake the World’. She is also honoured as a Carnegie Scholar, award for work on manuscript covering the 2003-2006 decision making at the White House on Democracy Promotion in the Muslim world, ‘Diplomacy Without Negotiation’ and Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2009-2011. 2016 Award by Carnegie for forthcoming work; ‘Before the Age of Prejudice: A Muslim Woman's White House Work for Three Presidents.’
She is married to Raza Tahir-Kheli, Emeritus Professor of Physics, PhD, and former chairman of the physics department at Temple University. They have two children and four grandchildren.