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Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi appointed as Executive Director COMSATS

Lahore : In recognition of decades long dedicated contribution in science & technology and higher education sectors, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi has been appointed as Executive
Director Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) headquarter.

A summary sent by Federal Ministry of Science & Technology regarding the appointment of Dr. S.M Junaid Zaidi has been approved by Prime Minister office, said a news release on Sunday.

The academic circles have hailed the decision of Federal Government and greeted Dr. Zaidi over his appointment.

COMSATS is an intergovernmental organization with its permanent Secretariat based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Established in 1994, the organization comprising 24 member countries, strives to promote South-South cooperation in the fields of Science and
Technology that are most relevant to socio-economic development.

Being executive director of COMSATS, he will also act as Chairman Board of Governors COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Islamabad.

Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi is the Founder Rector of the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Pakistan’s first exclusive institute of information technology which was awarded Charter by the Government of Pakistan in 2000 and in less than a  decade, it has grown into a quality institution of higher learning under his able leadership. CIIT now has eight campuses in seven cities, a student population of more than 35,000 and faculty base of 2,887.

In addition to Information Technology, the Institute offers several bachelor, master and doctoral programmes in engineering, basic sciences, management sciences and architecture. Dr Zaidi’s professional experience spans 36 years in a diverse range of fields.

The establishment of IT ventures and development of IT policies remains the epic highlight of his career.

Dr. Zaidi is an experienced educationist. In the early 1970s, he earned two master degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Punjab. In the early 1980s he successfully completed another master degree in Operations Research from University of Birmingham, England (UK) and subsequently earned a doctorate from
there, specializing in Optimization of Algorithms on Networking.

Before assuming the leadership of CIIT, Dr Zaidi served in many distinguished high profile positions at the United Nations (UN) and in the Government of Pakistan.

During his association with the UN, Dr Zaidi served as Advisor to the Malaysian Government and developed the country’s Information Technology Policy. Later, he was appointed as full time advisor with the United Nations ESCAP Asia and Pacific Center for Transfer of Technology.

Dr Zaidi undertook several advisory missions to countries like Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines,Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam as a UN-expert on IT and helped them establish their technology transfer and industrial technology information systems.

Dr. Zaidi introduced IT and Information Networking in the R&D organization of Pakistan as the Director General of the National Center for Technology Transfer, Government of Pakistan. The putting together the first ever draft on Pakistan’s IT Policy is one of his most notable achievements as the Scientific Secretary and Chief S&T with the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology. He also wrote two remarkable concept papers for the Government of Pakistan and COMSATS, which led to the establishment of the Virtual University (VU) and COMSATS Internet Services (CIS).

Recently, in recognition of his commendable continued service to society, the Government of Pakistan has awarded Dr. Zaidi the prestigious national award “Hilal-i-Imtiaz” in 2014. He is already the recipient of another prestigious award “Sitara-i-Imtiaz”conferred in 2007.

Besides, Lancaster University, United Kingdom awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc) degree to worthy Rector, Dr. S. M.Junaid Zaidi on July 19, 2012. Earlier, in 2001, he was awarded one of the highest IT awards, “IT Pioneer 1987-1995,” by NCR Corporation for his contribution to the promotion and development of IT.

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