Ms Saira Shameen   
Ms Saira Shameen -- HeadshotFormer Chair, Scientific Advisory Group

Saira Shameem was Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group from 2011 to 2013. After graduating with a Degree in physics and a Master in occupational health and safety, she spent the last 22 years volunteering with various women’s rights and human rights organisations, primarily in strategic planning and organisational development. She joined the Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development in 1996, followed by an eight-year service at The Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI) – a regional project of the United Nations Development Program that invested in civil society and local government capacity building. In 2005, she became the Executive Director of a regional women’s health and rights organization – the Asia-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW). In almost seven years at ARROW, she worked to strengthen organisational accountability mechanisms, partnership building, sustainable funding, grassroots empowerment and women-centred service provision and development, until she left in 2011. She is currently the Program Adviser at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Malaysia Office.