Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Pakistani American Woman Named Chief Investment Officer of $1.2 Trillion Fund

Pakistani-American Saira Malik has been named chief investment officer of Nuveen which manages US$1.2 trillion in equities, fixed income, real estate, private markets, natural resources, other alternatives and responsible investments, according to US media reports. She will maintain her portfolio management and leadership responsibilities for Nuveen’s US$450 billion global equity business, and remain lead portfolio manager for the US$132.95 billion CREF Stock strategy and a listed portfolio manager for the US$37.84 billion CREF Growth and US$27.21 billion CREF Global Equities strategies.

Saira Malik, Nuveen

Saira has held a variety of positions since joining Nuveen in 2003. Prior to being named CIO, she was head of global equities portfolio management, and before that, head of global equities research. Previously, Saira was with JP Morgan Asset Management, where her roles included vice president/small cap growth portfolio manager and equity research analyst.

Saira Malik's parents migrated to the United States from Pakistan. She grew up in Stockton, California where she attended Lincoln High School. “My parents are Pakistani immigrants. As a high-school senior, I was advised by a career counselor to skip university and go to community college", she is quoted as saying on a Nuveen website. "I didn’t listen and went off to university instead, earning my series 7 and 63 registrations (investment broker licenses) by age 19. After graduating, every Wall Street firm to which I applied rejected me. Then I earned a master’s in finance and finally a large firm hired me. It’s important to be persistent and it’s fine to reject bad advice. My grandmother was among the first class of women admitted to medical school in India, graduating with an M.D. in 1934. Her diploma hangs on a wall in my house. It wasn’t written for a woman; it was written for a man. On it, administrators crossed out the preprinted words ‘him’ and ‘his’ and replaced them with handwritten ‘her’ and ‘hers.’ To this day, that diploma inspires the women in my family.” 

She has a bachelor's degree in Economics from California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly), San Luis Obispo, and a Master's degree in Finance from University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her interest in finance was sparked by her father's habit of watching financial news channels. Last year, Malik was named among Barron's "100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance". Barron's recognized Malik as follows: 

"She (Malik) and her team improved performance last year and continued “to drive more deeply” into environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, she says. As of February, according to the company, Morningstar ranked at least 77% of Nuveen’s U.S. equity assets above their peer-group median over the trailing three- and five-year periods..... A mother of two young daughters, Malik co-heads two industry affinity organizations—LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Development), which seeks to promote gender diversity in the asset-management industry, and Achieve, a resources group for female professionals". 

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Riaz Haq said...

Sara Suleri, American-Pakistani author who said ‘dream on’ about India-Pakistan Aman ki Asha
Sara's name is on Sapan’s Founding Charter, and she was known for vouching for India-Pakistan peace. But I knew a different side to her.


By Beena Sarwar

Aur bataiye – ‘Tell me more’ is a polite invitation to keep talking. I can hear Sara Suleri’s voice, naturally husky, made deeper with years of cigarette smoking, and perhaps more recently, with pain and other medications.

She’d send her love to Pakistan whenever I’d call before flying out from Boston, where we had both ended up around 10 years ago – she after retiring as Professor Emeritus of English from Yale University. I had transplanted myself from my home city Karachi, where I was editing Aman Ki Asha or ‘hope for peace’ between India and Pakistan.

“Dream on!” I hear Sara say. And yet, she had agreed, it’s important to keep on going. She was 100 per cent supportive of this, and the push for a regional approach – the South Asia Peace Action Network, or Sapan, the more recent endeavour, launched last year with a wonderful group of intergenerational, cross-border peacemongers.

Sara’s name is on Sapan’s Founding Charter calling on South Asian nations to institute soft borders and a visa-free South Asia, to allow freedom of trade and travel to each other’s citizens, ensure human rights and dignity for all, and to cooperate in all areas, including public health, culture and legal reform, education, and environment.

Her South Asian roots remained strong despite all the years away. If asked, she’d identify herself as Pakistani, “never American-Pakistani”.

Knowing Sara Suleri from her roots
When I’d call Sara after returning from Pakistan, she’d be eager to know what I did, where I went, who I met. On my return in February 2020 ‘B.C.’ — Before Covid – I flew back from Islamabad, having recently visited Lahore where Sara grew up and where I lived for a little over a decade in the 1990s. She was 23 when she left the city in 1976. I was just a little older when I moved there from Karachi in 1988.

Sara spent most of her adult life in America but made frequent visits to Pakistan until health issues prevented her to travel back to her home country. Her last visit may have been at the Second Karachi Literature Festival in 2011, guesses her sister Tillat, younger by five years.

There’s a recording of the event online. A more filled-out Sara than the gaunt one I know read from her chapter on her older sister Ifat from her iconic book Meatless Days.

Walking across the Charles River Bridge on a cold February afternoon, I called Sara. With Covid rampant, meetings were impossible. Over the landline – she had stopped using her cell phone – I sent her the fragrance of the Lahore spring and nargis flowers.

In September 2020, Sara sold her Boston apartment and transplanted the contents to Bellingham, a suburb of Seattle. She made it a point to call before leaving. There was a finality about the goodbye. We wondered when we’ll meet again.

It was a big move, but she could now be near Tillat in Vancouver, Canada, an hour-and-a-half drive away. They were excited about being so close to each other. Earlier, Tillat could visit Sara in Boston only a couple of times a year.

There was no way of knowing when the pandemic would end or that it would drag on for so long. Soon after the move, the borders closed again. Sara and Tillat, so near, and yet so far.

Since the border reopened last summer, Tillat could be with Sara every week for several days. Comfortingly, she and other family members were by Sara’s side when she took her last breath at home on 20 March. She was 68.

It was Asma Jahangir’s passing in Lahore that brought me close to Sara Suleri in Boston.

Riaz Haq said...

(Pakistani-American) Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett Named Co-Anchors of PBS NewsHour
Nawaz and Bennett to Succeed Judy Woodruff on Monday, January 2, 2023


"Today is a day I never could’ve imagined when I began my journalism career years ago, or while growing up as a first-generation, Muslim, Pakistani-American. I’m grateful, humbled, and excited for what’s ahead.”

Sharon Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA and President of NewsHour Productions, today named PBS NewsHour chief correspondent Amna Nawaz and chief Washington correspondent and PBS News Weekend anchor Geoff Bennett co-anchors of the nightly newscast. The PBS NewsHour, co-anchored by Nawaz and Bennett, will launch on Monday, January 2, 2023. Nawaz and Bennett succeed Judy Woodruff, who has solo-anchored PBS’s nightly news broadcast since 2016, prior to which she co-anchored it alongside the late Gwen Ifill.

Bennett has reported from the White House under three presidents and has covered five presidential elections. He joined NewsHour in 2022 from NBC News, where he was a White House correspondent and substitute anchor for MSNBC. In his prior experience, he worked for NPR — beginning as an editor for Weekend Edition and later as a reporter covering Congress and the White House. An Edward R. Murrow Award recipient, Bennett began his journalism career at ABC News’ World News Tonight.

On being named co-anchor of PBS NewsHour, Geoff Bennett said, “I’m proud to work with such a stellar group of journalists in pursuit of a shared mission — providing reliable reporting, solid storytelling and sharp analysis of the most important issues of the day. It’s why PBS NewsHour is one of television’s most trusted and respected news programs and why I’m honored and excited to partner with Amna in building on its rich legacy.”

Nawaz, who has received Peabody Awards for her reporting at NewsHour on January 6, 2021 and global plastic pollution, has served as NewsHour’s primary substitute anchor since she joined the NewsHour in 2018. She previously was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s livestream coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as foreign correspondent and Islamabad Bureau Chief at NBC News. She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian America platform, and began her journalism career at ABC News Nightline just weeks before the attacks of September 11, 2001.

On being named co-anchor, Amna Nawaz added, “It’s never been more important for people to have access to news and information they trust, and the entire NewsHour team strives relentlessly towards that goal every day. I am honored to be part of this mission, to work with colleagues I admire and adore, and to take on this new role alongside Geoff as we help write the next chapter in NewsHour’s story. Today is a day I never could’ve imagined when I began my journalism career years ago, or while growing up as a first-generation, Muslim, Pakistani-American. I’m grateful, humbled, and excited for what’s ahead.”

In making the announcement, Rockefeller noted, “PBS NewsHour continues to be dedicated to excellence in journalism. Amna and Geoff bring to their new positions three essential qualities for the role – accomplished careers in substantive reporting, dedication to the purpose of journalism to illuminate and inform, and a deep respect for our audiences and the mission of public media.”

Riaz Haq said...

Karachi-born Asma Naeem to be the head of the Baltimore Museum of Art


Baltimore Museum of Art Taps Its Chief Curator as Its Next Director

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced Tuesday that Asma Naeem, its chief curator since 2018 and interim co-director, will become director effective Feb. 1.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, and raised in Baltimore, Naeem practiced law for almost 15 years before switching careers and finishing her Ph.D. in American art. She becomes the first person of color to lead the museum, founded in 1914, and will oversee its collection of more than 97,000 objects and an annual operating budget of $23 million.

Naeem, 53, has been interim co-director of the museum since Christopher Bedford, the former director, left last June for the top post at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Naeem had a central role in shaping and implementing the Baltimore Museum’s strategic plan, adopted in 2018, that placed social equity alongside artistic excellence as a core principle guiding the museum’s mission. Since then, the B.M.A., as it is known locally, has been at the forefront of efforts to acquire and exhibit work by underrepresented artists and to diversify its staff, board and audiences — issues being addressed by museums nationwide to varying degrees.

“We were most impressed with how Asma has been part of the work and with her vision for the institution, in terms of how to build on this work and take us to that next level,” said James D. Thornton, chairman of the museum’s board, which promoted Naeem after a 10-month national search.

Riaz Haq said...

Shahzia Sikander, 53, the paradigm-busting Pakistani American artist behind the work, said the sculpture was part of an urgent and necessary cultural reckoning underway as New York, along with cities across the world, reconsiders traditional representations of power in public spaces and recasts civic structures to better reflect 21st-century social


Move Over Moses and Zoroaster: Manhattan Has a New Female Lawgiver

The Lahore-born Sikander, whose work has been displayed at the Whitney Biennial and who made her name reimagining the art of Indo-Persian miniature painting from a feminist, post-colonial perspective, was at pains to emphasize that Muhammad’s removal and her installation were completely unrelated. “My figure is not replacing anyone or canceling anyone,” she said.

Much as Justice Ginsburg wore her lace collar to recast a historically male uniform and proudly reclaim it for her gender, Sikander said her stylized sculpture was aimed at feminizing a building that was commissioned in 1896. Writing in The New Yorker in 1928, the architect and author George S. Chappell called the rooftop ring of male figures atop the building a “ridiculous adornment of mortuary statuary.”

The aesthetic merits of the courthouse’s sumptuous Beaux-Arts-style architecture aside, the building’s symbolism has outsize importance in New York’s civic and legal identity and beyond: The court hears appeals from all the trial courts in Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as some of the most important appeals in the country.

Riaz Haq said...

Ayisha Siddiqa, a human rights and environmental justice activist and a youth fellow with the Law School’s Climate Litigation Accelerator (CLX), was named one of Time magazine’s 2023 Women of the Year on March 2.


The award was given to twelve women who are “using their voices to fight for a more equal world,” says Time.

Siddiqa, who is 24 years old, is a co-founder of Polluters Out, a global youth climate advocacy group, as well as a climate activism training course called Fossil Free University. She is the inaugural youth fellow for CLX, a global hub of lawyers and advocates seeking to catalyze legal change to produce action against climate change. CLX is run jointly by the Earth Rights Advocacy Clinic, directed by Professor of Clinical Law César Rodríguez-Garavito, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, which Rodríguez-Garavito chairs.

The youth fellowship program began in 2022 to support and mentor promising young climate leaders who, like Siddiqa, are interested in pursuing a legal degree in the future. It also provides legal training in areas such as international negotiation and litigation.

“We see intergenerational collaboration as key to making progress against climate inaction,” says Rodríguez-Garavito, who says that Siddiqa has contributed to CLX’s communication strategies since joining in 2022. “Working with Ayisha’s generation as well as with young lawyers–many of whom are NYU Law alumni and are now full-time CLX staff members–we have seen a potency in that kind of collaboration,” he says. “We have learned as much from the youth movement as they have learned from us.”

Siddiqa, who was born in Pakistan, recounted to Time that as a teenager she began to see the impact that unsafe environments have on communities after witnessing the illness and death of her grandparents due to unsafe drinking water. Eventually, she said, she came to see the deep connections between climate change and human rights. In a video on Time’s website, announcing Siddiqa’s selection, she notes the importance of working collectively and globally to reverse the effects of climate change. “We cannot be individualistic anymore. It will not work,” she said. Siddiqa will continue on as a fellow with CLX until 2024, when she plans to start her legal studies.