Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja

Executive Director

Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja is the Executive Director. She is the author of highly acclaimed book, “Shaking Hands with Clenched Fists: The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India.”

Dr. Khawaja is an Associate Professor and former Head of the Department of Strategic Studies, at the National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad, where she has been a faculty member since June, 2008. She is among the founding members of Faculty of Contemporary Studies, NDU. Not only this, she has the honor to establish the first ever department of Peace and Conflict Studies, in Pakistan in September 2008, at NDU.

Her distinguish career in academia, includes more than two decades long teaching, research, and administrative experience. Asma received her scholarship by German government for Doctorate in South Asian Studies from the Institute of South Asian Studies, Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg Germany. She has done Msc & MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She also holds the Master degrees in Political Science and Pakistan Studies.

Dr. Khawaja is a frequent media commentator, represented Pakistan, and presented her research studies in various conferences worldwide. She has published numerous research studies, monographs, books, and book chapters. Her areas of interest include strategic studies, peace and conflict studies and precisely peacebuilding, conflict resolution, regional and global integration and geopolitics, strategic alignments, energy politics, women peace and security, strategic culture and Pakistan-India relations.

Her active participation in the activities of knowledge community include: Crisis Management Course at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Hawaii, USA; IVLP Fellowship on Security and Foreign Policy; Rotary Peace Fellowship and representation of Pakistan at its Global Innovative Peacebuilding Conference in Bangkok; ICRC Fellowship; DAAD Fellowship; and the Ambassadorship of Global Peace Index at the Institute for Economic and Peace. She is the recipient of Presidential Gold Medal of Merit and the alumni achievement award by APCSS, USA. Last but not the least she is the president of APCSS Alumni Pakistan.

Director Research

Dr. Shahid Hameed is Director Research. He received his doctorate degree in International Relations from National Defense University Islamabad. His research areas include Foreign Policy, International Security, Globalization, Emerging Technologies, and New Trends in Modern Warfare. He served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations as well as Head of the Department of International Relations Women University AJ&K Bagh from 2017 to 2022 before joining CISS AJK. He contributed several research papers in the field of international relations. 


Dr. Shahid Hameed

Research Teams

International Security & Politics

Research Officer Dr. Abida Rafiq is leading this team to analyze the issues related to International Security and Politics. This team aims at conducting studies on emerging security threats affecting national and international security.

Nuclear Politics & Strategies, Arms Control & Disarmament, Strategy & Emerging Technologies, New Trends in Warfare

This team comprises of Research Officer Zohaib Altaf and two Research Assistants Nimra Javed and Hira Bashir. They focus on modern warfare and developments affecting the character and conduct of war.

Strategic Stability in South Asia, Indian Strategic Culture

Research Officers Syeda Tahreem Bukhari and Nazia Sheikh and Research Assistant Abdul Basit are working in as a team to decipher South Asia. This team highlights strategic issues pertaining to South Asia such as strategic stability, strategic dynamics and conflict resolution between Pakistan and India. 

Cyber and Hybrid Warfare

In Cyber Warfare & National Security team Research Officer Muhammad Shahzad Akram, Research Assistant Moneeb Jaffar Mir and Rimsha Malik work together. They work on Cyber Security, Cyber Defense, Cyber Offense, Information Warfare, Hybrid warfare, Internal Security, Proxy War, Cyber Radicalization and Cyber Economy.

Strategic Transitions & Realignments, Politics of Climate Change.

This team includes Research Officers Ali Hamza and Qurat-ul-Ain Shabir. This desk highlights Strategic Transitions & Realignments, Politics of Climate Change, and comprehensive security.

Kashmir State & Society

Research Officer Saba Ghulam Nabi, and Research Assistant Abdul Rehman are part of this team. They highlight issues related to the state and society of Kashmir, Women, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding and conflict transformation in Kashmir, International Mediation in Kashmir and confidence building measures on Jammu and Kashmir.

Our Administrative Team


Arslan Khalid

Assistant Director Finance and HR

Muhammad Ahsan Zafar

Assistant Director Adm

Noreen Naeem

Junior Accountant

Library Staff


Umer Rasheed

Assistant Director Library

Sana Iqbal

Assistant Librarian

Data Analyst


Engr. Sehrish Basharat

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CISS (Centre for international strategic studies)