Benazir Bhutto Foundation » Board


Bibliographies of the present Executive Board

Cynthia Ekberg Tsai (President)

Cynthia Tsai is Executive Vice President for Business Development. She spent 16 years on Wall Street as a Vice President with Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody, involved in venture funds, IPOs, and investor relations. Tsai is the founder and CEO of HealthExpo, the largest consumer healthcare event in the U.S. In seven years she grew the enterprise from concept to execution, attracting more than 50 million consumers to HealthExpo.

Tsai has achieved international recognition for her expertise in private equity financing and development of high-growth companies by securing private capitalization from high-net worth investors.

Previously, she was a General Partner in MassTech Ventures, a multi-million dollar equity fund focused on technology development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She has served on numerous boards and committees:

  • Member of the Board of the Institute for Global Finance at Pace University (2001-present)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the White House Project (2001-present)
  • Advisor to the Chairman of Maxim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1999-2005)
  • Member of the Board of Directors at the American Association (1999-2002)
  • New York Board of Directors for the Weizmann Institute of Science (2000-2004)
  • Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association (1996-2006)
  • Member of the Economic Club of New York.
  • Advisory Committee Member of the National Institutes of Health (2000-2002)
  • Member of the World Economic Forum (1992-1998)

In 1999, the Harvard Business School Alumni Chapter in New York recognized Tsai with an Early Stage Honor Roll Award for Entrepreneurship. In 2004, she also received a “Leading Woman Entrepreneur of the World” Award from the Star Foundation in Oakland Park, Kansas.

She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri.

Dr Javaid R. Laghari (Vice-President) –

Dr Javaid R. Laghari is a former Senator in the Pakistan Senate. He was elected in March 2006 for a six year term and belongs to the Pakistan Peoples Party formerly chaired by Ms. Benazir Bhutto.

Dr. Prof. Javaid Laghari is the current chairperson of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. He is an academic, an aerospace scientist and an electrical engineer. He was previously Senator of Pakistan from the Pakistan People’s Party. He was elected to the Senate of Pakistan in 2006 for a six year term and resigned in July 2009.

Dr. Laghari is also the President of SZABIST (listed among the best Science & Technology and Business Schools of the World by Business Week, Asia Inc, Asia Week and CNN Executive Education). He specializes in Energy & Power, Higher Education, Information Technology, Space Power Technology and Leadership. As President of SZABIST and as Senator, Dr Laghari has written numerous articles and has appeared in a large number of TV interviews on leadership issues relating to Pakistan and the world.

Prior to joining SZABIST and entering the world of politics, Dr. Laghari was the Director of Graduate Studies and Tenured Full Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, USA. SUNY is the largest public research university in the north eastern United States. During his tenure at SUNY, Dr Laghari published over 120 research papers and presented over 70 papers at International Conferences.

Dr. Laghari has attended the NATO Advanced Study Institute in UK in 1991; and the NATO Advanced Study Institute in Italy in 1983 (only top 100 scientists from NATO countries are invited to attend these Advanced Institutes in Europe). When in the United States, Dr. Laghari has performed sponsored research for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Research Lab (NRL), the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), the Strategic Defense Initiatives (SDI), Hughes Aircraft and the Boeing Aerospace Company.

Dr. Laghari was the Chairman of the 1992 IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering, USA, and has organized many International Conferences and chaired numerous Sessions and Workshops in the United States. He has also served as the Chairman of the Technical Standards Committee on Radiation Effects, and as the Representative on the United States Activities Board on Man and Radiation. Dr. Laghari is the author of the IEEE Standard 775 – 1993 and has published a Book Chapter and a Monograph in the United States.

Dr. Laghari has also been a Member of the Ministry of Science and Technology Human Resource Development Committee, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), and the Sindh Information Technology Board (SITB). He is currently a Member of the ACM (USA) and Chairman of the ACM (Karachi Chapter), Senior Member of the IEEE (USA), Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Executive Committees of the Federation of the University of Islamic World (FUIW) and the Asia University Federation (AUF).

Dr. Laghari is the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award, 1987, the International Cultural Diploma of Honor, 1988, the IEEE Award for Leadership and Dedicated Services, 1994, and the coveted national award ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ conferred by the President of Pakistan in 1998. He specializes in Energy and Power, Higher Education, Information Technology, Space Power Technology and Leadership and has published over 120 research papers in refereed journals and presented over 70 papers at International Conferences. He is also the author of two books, “Reflections on Benazir Bhutto” and “Leaders of Pakistan”.

Dr. Laghari is listed in the American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in the World.

Mehreen Shah, Esq. (Executive Director)

Mehreen Shah, LLB (Hons) or Mona Shah as she is more commonly known, was born in the UK, of Pakistani descent. Mona graduated from the University of Northumbria in England in 1990. Mona was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales in 1993, and was admitted to the New York Bar and the United States Federal Bar in 1997. Mona is also admitted to the U.S. Second, Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

While in England, Mona served as a Crown Prosecutor with the British Crown Prosecution Service, Here she became proficient in advocacy, handling several complex cases. After moving to New York in 1995, she established her own law firm in New York City in 1997. The firm handles legal matters for clients worldwide. Her firm also has a London affiliate office which allows for the representation of European, Middle-Eastern and South Asian clients.

Mona has over 17+ years of legal experience, 13+ in US Immigration Law, Litigation and Family Law. She has wide-ranging litigation, ADR and courtroom experience on both the trial and appellate levels, in both U.S. State and Federal courts. Mona has successfully litigated in courts nationwide including: California, Texas, Washington DC, Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida, Texas. She also advises on UK Immigration law. She continues to represent individual, high profile and corporate clients from all over the world.

Mona is presently a partner with New York Immigration Fund (NYIF – She was also one of the 4 original founders of New York City Regional Center and the only Immigration Attorney on the team. She has worked setting up, and establishing EB-5 Regional Centers as well as many years filing EB-5 cases including complex cases and private non-regional center investor cases.

Mona has written and spoken extensively. She has published numerous articles for local newspapers and is often featured as a guest speaker at legal seminars and on local television news programs. Mona Shah has previously hosted a cable television program focused on immigration issues. She has been honored for her work by various groups and non for profit organizations. Mona has worked with Human Rights groups and actively assists local non for profit foundations.

Majjida Ahmed, M.D. (Secretary)

  • Medical doctor In Private Practice since 1988, Chief of Staff Whittier Hospital Medical Center.
  • She served on the Executive Committee of The Medical Staff Whittier Hospital since 1997
  • On Staff at Beverly Hospital, Montebello California

Coast Plaza Hospital, Norwalk California

Pacific Hospital, Long Beach California

Comprehensive Surgery Center, Beverly Hills California

  • Founding Board Member APIPA Medical group (a California IPA)
  • Founding Board Member Procare Medical group (a California IPA)
  • Involved with DIL (development in literacy) since its inception
  • Advisor to Bridge of Faith Charity
  • Associated with CDRS Charity (Todd Shea) Setting up basic health care in Pakistan
  • Associated with Relief International Charity Setting up basic health care in Pakistan
  • Member APPNA Setting up basic health care in Pakistan
  • Volunteered with Earth quake Relief in Pakistan
  • Associated with Central Asia Institute (Greg Mortenson) Setting up basic schools in Pakistan

Suhail Siddiqi, M.D. M.P.H. (Vice-President)

A medical doctor, but presently in business in Whittier, California since 1992

  • Life Member and President of SMC Alumni Association
  • Life Member APPNA ,(Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent in North America) responsible for setting up basic health care in Pakistan.
  • Secretary APPNA Southern California Chapter
  • Involved with DIL (development in literacy) Since its inception
  • Advisor to Bridge of Faith Charity
  • Associated with CDRS Charity (Todd Shea) Setting up basic health care in Pakistan
  • Associated with Relief International Charity Setting up basic health care in Pakistan. Volunteered with Earth quake Relief in Pakistan
  • Associated with Central Asia Institute (Greg Mortenson) Setting up basic schools in Pakistan