Zaheer Abbas Maseed

Zaheer Abbas Maseed

Chairperson at HEELA Institute for Research and Development

Zaheer Abbas Maseed, a devoted peace and gender activist, with over 10+ years of experience in Development Sector wields art and training as a weapon against conflict and violent extremism in Pakistan's volatile North West. Over a decade, he's empowered hundreds of artists, activists, and officials through HEELA Institute, crafting powerful counter-narratives. His mission: build resilient communities that champion gender equality and social cohesion, is leaving a legacy of peace etched in creative expressions.

As Chairperson at HEELA Institute, he strategically led initiatives fostering peace and women's empowerment in Pakistan's tribal areas. His role involves global advocacy, innovative project development, and highlighting the resilience and aspirations of vulnerable populations and youth through various mediums. Through a diverse approach encompassing art, literature and training on gender, masculinities and leadership, he shed light on the challenges faced by local tribes, emphasizing the resilience and aspirations of vulnerable populations, specifically women and youth.

Collaborative initiatives with artists and poets from Waziristan and Kurram districts of Pakistan resulted in impactful peace music, documentaries, and publications for digital advocacy, measured through online reach and analytics. Recognition by the McCain Institute and ASU World Innovators validates the global impact of Maseed’s leadership work. Community engagement metrics underscore his success, while the establishment of HEELA Institute signifies lasting empowerment in conflict-affected areas. These results highlight his dedication and effective implementation of his leadership plan in fostering peace, empowering women, and creating positive change, extending beyond Pakistan's borders, permeating diverse communities worldwide.

Education: M.Phil (International Relations), Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad