Alumni UK event speaker: Kashif Shabir

Kashif Shabir

CEO, Muslim Aid

Kashif Shabir is CEO of Muslim Aid, an international humanitarian charity with relief and development programmes in countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is one of the oldest Muslim charities in the UK and globally. The charity works to support and empower people suffering the effects of poverty, war, and natural disaster through both emergency relief and sustainable programmes designed to provide long-term support and create independent futures for the most vulnerable communities in the most fragile places.

Previously Kashif was Head of Knowledge Management and Learning at Oxfam and at the British Red Cross as part of the Strategic Change Management Team. He is the founder and principal consultant at Ethical Consulting Group, specialising in Strategy development and executive coaching for the voluntary and third sector.

Kashif holds a Master’s degree in NGO Management from CASS Business School in London and is a board member at the Directory of Social Change and BOND.

Alumni UK event speaker: Romchat Wachirarattanakornkul

Romchat Wachirarattanakornkul

Human Rights, Climate Change and Environment Focal Point, Regional Office for South East Asia, Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights

Romchat is the regional focal point on human rights, climate change, and the environment for the UN Human Rights Regional Office for South-East Asia. She has been leading human rights activities and programs in Asia since 2019. She has more than 10 years of human rights professional career. Romchat holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, an LL.M. in Public Law and a Chevening Scholarship’s LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the University of Essex.

Ryan Gawn

Director, The LEGO Foundation

Ryan Gawn is Director of The LEGO Foundation, where he leads a global public affairs portfolio supporting partners in engaging and influencing global institutions and national governments to ensure that education systems can transform and harness the power of play to equip learners with 21st century skills.

He has worked and led teams across sectors; for leading INGOs, as a UK diplomat, and also advising multinational brands across EMEA. In 2011, he co-founded Stratagem International, a boutique Belfast-based strategic communications consultancy.

He is an advisor to the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, British Council, Wilton Park and is former Council Member of Chatham House.

He has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Chile, Denmark, Pakistan, South Africa and the United States. He holds a BA (Hons, Politics) from University of Stirling in Scotland, and a MA from Universidad del Salvador in Argentina. @ryangawn

The event will be Chaired by, Mariya Afzal

Director UK-Pakistan Season, British Council

Mariya holds more than 16 years of international experience in leading and developing initiatives in cultural engagement, with a profound knowledge in Arts, Education and Business Development. She has held progressively senior roles in South Asia and the Americas including Country Director British Council Canada, Head of Development at Canada’s leading Contemporary Art Gallery ‘The Power Plant’ in Toronto, Head of Programmes British Council Pakistan, Deputy Director British Council Lahore and she was also Country Head at London School of Business & Finance office in Pakistan.

Mariya currently holds the portfolio for the Pakistan/UK bilateral season to celebrate Pakistan’s 75th anniversary of British Council there. In this position, she leads on strategic partnerships in support of the development of innovative, high-quality collaborations in Arts & Culture, Education, Environment & Sustainability with a strong focus on women and girls and youth engagement, thereby furthering the cultural relations agenda between the two nations.

Mariya holds a degree in International Relations and Political Science, has attained multiple certifications in areas including Project and Resource Management, trained in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and is a member of the British Council’s Anti-Racism Global Task Force alongside Senior Leadership Team.