Meet the people who work at the British Council

Nishat Riaz, Director Education, Pakistan

I am leading on British Council’s education work in Pakistan. This includes management and implementation of programmes covering schools, skills, higher education and Education UK. I have over 12 years’ experience in managing development programmes on health, gender, skills, culture and education. I am one of the founding members of Karakorum International University- the first university in the Karakorum and Himalayan ranges. I was selected as a Chevening Scholar from Pakistan in 2003, through which I did my MA in International Development from University of Manchester. I was twice the recipient of President’s award of excellence for best academic performance.

 My journey with the British Council started back in 1999; I love my work, as I feel I am part of a network that reaches out to grassroots and communities by engaging people through a humane lens.

I love horse riding and polo. I used to ride my horse and reach my school while in Gilgit in late 80’s.

Sunaina Usman, Exams Operations Manager

I have been working for the British Council for the past 9.5 years and can proudly say that the British Council has made significant contribution towards my personal and professional development.  I have worked in customer service department, programmes and now in Examinations department as Exams Operations Manager and have enjoyed witnessing the difference we make in people’s life across all areas. 

My expertise revolves around building relationships with our customers, leadership, team working and dealing with challenges. 

I love travelling and spending my spare time shopping.

Muhammad Hasnain Khalil, Research and Evaluation Consultant

I joined the British Council this year as a Research and Evaluation Consultant. Before this, I was at the Rural Support Programmes Network where I led national and regional level evaluations in infrastructure and microfinance and took part in planning projects. My interest in evaluation and project planning stems from my academic background in Economics and social policy. The British Council has a very good working environment where diversity is respected and creativity is encouraged.Away from work, I like to follow Formula 1 racing, tennis and anything on TV.

Rukhsana Asim, Project Manager Schools

I started my journey with the British Council in 1997 as Executive Officer. The British Council gave me the opportunity to improve my qualification and helped me do my MBA through the Professional Development scheme. I have also done Cambridge Information Technology (CIT), Interactive Marketing Award diploma (IMA) from the Manchester Metropolitan University through the organisation. I have worked in various capacities, including the Computer Centre, Teaching Centre, and Programmes department. Since 2006 I have led on variety of education and arts related projects as Programme Manager. In my current role as Project Manager Schools, I am leading on various component of Schools Project nationally and Regional lead on School partnership.

I like my job as I feel like I can bring some change in our society by promoting Global Citizenship in our schools.  

Apart from work I love travelling and thanks to my work with the British Council I have gotten to do that quite a bit.

Sharmeen Peshimam, Head of Content

I have been Editorial Services Manager at British Council Karachi for the last three years. My work essentially entails ensuring all written and visual material representing the British Council Pakistan meets the high standards we are known for. This includes commissioning curating, reviewing, and creating content. I did my Bachelor’s in Communication Design, majoring in Graphic Design and Advertising, and minoring in Filmmaking. Before this I worked in an Advertising Agency for 2 years. 

I love working for the British Council because it brings together my two passions - writing and designing - and channels them toward a third passion: making this world a better place. An inclusive, open environment, in addition to an amazing team doesn’t hurt either.

 In my free time you’ll find me reading, or dancing with my two beautiful nieces. For fun I also give free freestyle dance classes once a week

Usman Khalid, Project Manager Schools and English

I started my career with the British Council in 2007 at the age of 23. As I reflect back on my professional career history, I think I’m one of the fortunate people who selected my general career direction early on while still in college, and not once have I regretted it. I am now a business graduate, working as the Project Manager leading the Schools and English programmes in Sindh and Balochsitan.

One of my greatest passions is helping others. When I was younger, I've enjoyed helping mom with household repairs. As I grew older, that habit grew and I desired to help others as well. I like helping people find solutions that meet their specific needs.

Although my job involves a lot of travel, I still love discovering new parts of the world with my wife and three year old daughter.

Nariman Qureshi, Director Human Resources

I joined the British Council in November 2015. Coming from a purely commercial background, this job presented a whole new set of challenges for me. I am taking it one step at a time but I am enjoying this journey so far. One of the most striking things for me was to see how passionate people are about what they do and strength of their faith and belief in the projects they work on.

As an individual, I can say the way we work at the British Council ensures that I have space to take on new and exciting opportunities, I can design my role to ensure I work on what I love while keeping in mind the organization’s needs. It’s safe to say one of the most stimulating parts of the job is working with a group of motivated colleagues across the country and the globe!

In addition, due to the wonderful work life balance that the British Council is able to provide to its employees I can say I have time to perfect my cooking and spend time creating beautiful memories with my family!

Imtiaz Razvi, Director Operations Examinations Pakistan

I joined the British Council from a strong customer service background but in my time here I have added to my skillset in countless ways - whether that be through leading one of the largest exams operations in the world, change management, marketing, or through crisis management. To me a role profile is just a piece of paper - my job (and yours) is largely what you want to make it.

Can you imagine working for an organisation for sixteen years and honestly not dread it for a single day? This sort of job satisfaction stems from believing in and contributing to the larger purpose of the British Council i.e. building cultural relations and creating opportunity, the fantastic working environment, and above all the wonderful staff that I work with.

In my free time I enjoy doing origami, and am an advanced level origami artist myself.

Pearl Rodrigues, Human Resources Manager Pakistan

I started with the British Council in 2008 as an Executive Officer, where I had a diverse role working with different teams. I found I had an interest in HR and began working closely with the HR team. It was my experience here that encouraged me to pursue my MBA. Thanks to the British Council’s work life balance practices I managed to complete my MBA in three years with a full time job - even earning a gold medal! I also got the opportunity to make the most of my expertise and move into my current role as HR manager. 

I’d like to mention that the Professional Development Scheme (PPDS) provided by the British Council was of great support. The scheme offers financial support for staff pursuing various forms of learning and development such as training and educational courses.

I’m fond of seafood, fishing, swimming; I plan on going scuba diving someday.

Maryam Rab, Director Research Evaluation and Monitoring Unit (REMU)

Though I’ve recently joined the British Council, my relationship with it goes way back. I was a founding member of the British Alumni Association Islamabad Chapter, and have been involved in multiple projects from Higher Education Links to Knowledge Exchange to Transnational Education. Currently I am heading the Research Evaluation and Monitoring Unit which will promote thought leadership keeping in view contemporary global challenges

I have over 17 years’ experience in the private and public sector. My field of expertise is policy formulation, strategy development and execution, research, and programme management. I played an active role in establishing the first Women University in Pakistan.

The fact that projects are developed from within the community and solutions are home grown led me towards working the British Council. Their work in education and young engagement was also a key attribute.

I love to cook and I find it very relaxing. I experiment a lot with concocting new mocktails and salad recipes.