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Iftikhar Ahmad Shaheen

Country Director, Somalia
DT Global United States
Technical Areas of Expertise
Strategic leadership
Resource mobilization and client relationships
Advocacy and partnerships
Learning and development
Complex programming
Pashto (Native)
Urdu (Native)
English (Fluent)
Arabic (Intermediate)
Fletcher School at Tufts University, Master of Arts in International Relations
Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan, Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Microbiology

Iftikhar is currently serving as the Country Director, Somalia, for DT Global, where he oversees a portfolio of programs, including USAID- and FCDO-funded Inclusive Resilience in Somalia (IRIS) and USAID’s Transition Initiatives for Stabilization Seddax (TIS3). Prior to this, he was tasked as a Strategic Stabilization Advisor with the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), advising the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia (SRSG) and the donor community on comprehensive community recovery and stabilization priorities in Somalia at a time of strategic importance in Somalia and the broader region. This position expanded an extensive career portfolio, including extensive experience as a Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa, Head of Funding for Asia and the Pacific, and Chief of Party for several USAID and UKAID programs valued at over $300 million.

Iftikhar’s diverse roles, combined with deep-seated knowledge of development policy and practice and its associated linkages to comprehensive community recovery and systems strengthening approaches, contribute to his nuanced understanding of state building in fragile settings, international policies, and governance. This understanding of global dynamics is based on his academic credentials, which include an M.A. in International Affairs from the highly esteemed Fletcher School at Tufts University, US, and a B.S. in Microbiology. The multi-disciplinary lens continues to sharpen his strategic navigation through varied political landscapes and influence global policy-level decisions. From his years of engagement in international development and, more importantly, in the humanitarian and stabilization sectors, Iftikhar has an enormous amount of convening experience, ranging from working with donors, private sector actors, and government institutions and frameworks.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is that I get to work with a wonderful team in Kenya and Somalia. They are young, dynamic, highly talented, and above all, dedicated.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give others about life?

Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy!