Dr S. M. Junaid Zaidi (S.I.) is the Founder Rector of the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Pakistan’s first exclusive institute of information technology. The CIIT 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 campuses in seven cities, a student population exceeding 16,000 and faculty base of 1,500. In addition to Information Technology, the Institute offers several bachelor, master and doctoral programs 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.
His expertise ranges from devising Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mechanisms to Technology Commercialization and Utilization, Project Planning & Management, Industrial Information Networking, Operations Research, System Designing, Technology Policy Analysis, Technology Monitoring & Forecasting and Technology Transfer.
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, where he contributed significantly to the enhancement of technology and information handling capabilities of developing countries of the region and also established a computerized on-line network of Asian and Pacific countries. During this period, 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).
In addition to his pioneering role for the Commission on Science and Technology for the Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Dr Zaidi has participated as a resource person/consultant in many international seminars and workshops including the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok; the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Tokyo; the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila; the OIC Standing Committee on Science and Technology (COMSTECH), Islamabad; the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Bangkok; the Asian and Pacific Center for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), New Delhi; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna; and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (ISESCO), Rabat. He has also acted as the Workshop/Conference Chair at several international events in and outside Pakistan. These events were co-hosted in association with UNIDO; COMSATS; ISESCO; National Centre of Physics; Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL); Board of Investment (BoI), Government of Pakistan; National Science Foundation, USA; University of Illinois, Chicago; Purdue University; etc.
In recognition of his commendable continued service to society, the Government of Pakistan conferred upon Dr Zaidi the prestigious national award, “Sitara-i-Imtiaz” (Star of Distinction) in 2007. 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.
Board of Governers
The affairs of CIIT are governed by the Board of Governors (BOG) consisting of eminent Scientists, Educationists and Policymakers. The Board, headed by Executive Director, COMSATS, has representation from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Information Technology, Ministry of Education, Higher Education Commission, NESCOM, PAEC etc., and the academia.
The day to day affairs of CIIT are taken care of by the Rector, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, who is the academic and administrative head of the Institute. The Rector performs his functions in accordance with the general policy guidelines of the CIIT, laid down by the BOG.
Following are currently the members of the BOG
Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, T.I.
Commission on Science & Technology for Sustainable Development in South (COMSATS),
COMSATS Secretariat, G-5/2, Islamabad Chairman (Ex-Officio)
Mr Irfan Nadeem Sayeed,
Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, 4th Floor,
Evacuee Complex, F-5, Islamabad.
Mr. Muhammad Athar Tahir,
Secretary, Ministry of Education,
Block-D, Secretariat, Islamabad.
Dr. Naveed A. Malik
Rector, Virtual University,
Defence Road, Off Raiwind Road, Lahore. (Nominee of Chairman HEC)
Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
N.I., H.I., S.I., T.I.
Coordinator General, COMSTECH,
COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad Person of Outstanding merit Nominated by the Managing Committee of the COMSATS
Mr. Anwar H. Rammal,
Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Limited.
Bath Island. Clifton, Karachi Person of Outstanding merit Nominated by the Managing Committee of the COMSATS
Dr. Mohammad Yaseen,
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA),
PTA Headquarters Building, Islamabad. Person of Outstanding merit Nominated by the Managing Committee of the COMSATS
Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, S.I.
30, H-8/1, Islamabad Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr Mahmood A. Bodla,
Director, CIIT Lahore Campus,
Defence Road off Raiwind Road, Lahore. Member Ex-Officio)
Dr Khan Gul Jadoon,
Director, CIIT Abbottabad Campus, University Road, Tobe
Camp, Abbottabad Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr. Sherzada Khan,
Director, CIIT Attock Campus,
Kamra Road, Attock. Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr. Abdul Waheed,
Director, CIIT Sahiwal Campus,
COMSATS Road, Off GT Road, Sahiwal. Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr. Moin-ud-din Ghauri,
Director, CIIT Vehari Campus,
Mailsi Road, Off Multan Road, Vehari. Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr. Tayyeb Akram,
Director, CIIT Wah Campus,
Quaid Avenue, The Mall, Wah Cantt. Member (Ex-Officio)
Dr Arshad S. Malik,
Registrar, CIIT, Principal Seat,
Block-I, NISTE Building,
Faiz Ahmed Faiz Road, Islamabad. Member / Secretary (Ex-Officio)
Dr Shahid A. Khan,
Director, CIIT Wah Campus / Dean, Faculty of Engineering
Quaid Avenue, The Mall, Wah Cantt. Member
Prof Dr Syed Amjad Farid Hasnu,
Dean, Faculty of Business Administration,
CIIT, University Road, Tobe Camp,