Wednesday December 06, 2023

PM Imran approves appointment of Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as ‘Ambassador-at-Large’ for investment

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui has been appointed as “Ambassador-at-Large” for foreign investment in an honorary capacity with effect from 13th June 2019

By Web Desk
June 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved appointment of Pakistan’s former Ambassador to United States, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as “Ambassador-at-Large” for foreign investment.

A notification has been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Friday.

According to the notification, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui has been appointed as “Ambassador-at-Large” for foreign investment in an honorary capacity with effect from 13th June 2019.

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui is a diplomat and entrepreneur. He is the former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan with the status of Minister of State. He recently joined the board of Afiniti also known as a “Global Unicorn “ along with the former British Prime Minister David Cameroon and Admiral William Owen, Ex-US Vice Chairman Joint Chief of Staff.

He also served in various business and government advisory councils, policy institutions and commercial entities.

Siddiqui founded JS Bank in 2006 by acquiring American Express Bank's Pakistan operations. Over the space of a decade the Bank has grown to $4 billion in assets, 5000 employees and branches in over 160 cities in Pakistan. Previously he was Chairman and Chief Investment Officer at JS Private Equity Management.

1. Early Life

Siddiqui was born to Jahangir Siddiqui, a Pakistani businessman and entrepreneur, and Mahvash Siddiqui a university professor and philanthropist. At 15 years of age, he launched a technology business called Advance Micro Research, where he integrated computer network systems for corporations. This business was sold in 1995 when Siddiqui left for his higher studies at Cornell University.

• Family

Jahangir Siddiqui founded Jahangir Siddiqui & Co. Ltd. in 1970. This later became JS Group, an investment holding company with Rs. 413 billion (USD 3.7 billion) in assets as of December 2017. The Group claims to employ more than 20,000 people in Pakistan and has invested in several companies in various sectors.

Siddiqui’s mother, Mahvash Siddiqui, is the Chairperson of the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF), a charitable foundation. An educationist by profession, she was a Professor of English Literature and Head of the English Department at Khatoon-e-Pakistan College, Karachi.

Siddiqui is married to Saira M. Siddiqui, a Montessori teacher by profession.

• Education

Siddiqui graduated from Karachi Grammar School in 1995. In 1999, he graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. degree in Economics. He has also pursued additional educational courses at MIT, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

2. Career

• Entrepreneurship

Siddiqui has invested and worked with partners for setting up various businesses including Airblue (a private and by numbers the second largest airline in Pakistan), Arabian Gulf Steel (a steel producer in the UAE), Jura Energy (a Canadian oil and gas company with operations in Pakistan) and RAK Ghani Glass (the largest pharmaceutical glass producer in the UAE and GCC countries)

• JS Bank

In 2006, Siddiqui founded JS Bank by acquiring the operations of the American Express Bank in Pakistan. He also served as the Chairman of JS Bank. JS Bank operates branches in over 160 cities.

• Crosby Capital

From 1999 to 2002, Siddiqui lived in Hong Kong and served as Director of Crosby Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment management firm that managed US$400 million on behalf of investors such as the Hong Kong and Korean Governments.

• Board Memberships

He has previously been a member on the boards of the following institutions:

• Government

-- Board member of the Community Development Board (CDB) of the Government of Sindh

-- Board member of the Private Sector Task Force of the Planning Commission of the Government of Pakistan

-- Board member of the Board of Investment of the Government of Sindh

-- Board member of the Privatization Commission of the Government of Pakistan

• Charitable Institutions

--  Director of the Acumen Fund

-- Director and ex-CEO of the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation

3. Philanthropy

Until he took up his government roles, Siddiqui was the CEO of the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF), which provides grants to the education, humanitarian relief, healthcare and social enterprise sectors in Pakistan. During the floods which struck Pakistan in 2010 onwards, MJSF established refugee camps housing more than 10,000 displaced individuals, providing food supplies to over 20,000 people and clean water for over 100,000 people during the 4 month relief operations period. MJSF worked in coordination with the UN agencies and INGOs.

He served on the board of Acumen, a global social enterprise investment firm, for 9 years. According to Mr. Naeem Zamindar, Director of Acumen in Pakistan:

“Mr. Ali J. Siddiqui has played a pivotal role in establishing Acumen here in Pakistan. His support has been instrumental in helping Acumen grow and deepen its impact across the country.”

4. Ambassador To The US

In March 2018, he was appointed as the Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and commenced his duties on May 29, 2018.

Siddiqui’s reputation and work was acknowledged by US commentators while it has been frequently criticized by Indian media.

In June 2018, Siddiqui presented his credentials to US President Donald Trump.

In July 2018, Siddiqui met James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence. The meeting took place at the Pentagon where Siddiqui received a guard of honor on behalf of Pakistan.

During celebrations for Pakistan’s 71st Anniversary of Independence in August 2018 at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells, the Chief Guest at the event, acknowledged Pakistan's sacrifices against terrorism and stated that Sididqui was “an important player here” and that “everyone in town has met you and is talking about the energy you bring to the job.”

In October 2018, the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced a change in Pakistan’s ambassadorial appointments to multiple countries including the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Serbia, Cuba amongst others. The individuals being changed were appointed during the regime of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

5. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister

Soon after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi became Prime Minister of Pakistan, Siddiqui joined the Government and served as a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister with the status of a Minister of State from August 2017 until May 2018.

6. Multilateral Engagement

As Special Assistant to the Prime Minister in 2017 and 2018, Siddiqui participated as a member of the Prime Ministers delegations to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, UN General Assembly, Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Heads of Government Meetings and the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings.

7. Academic

Siddiqui has lectured at various universities including:

• 2012: College of William and Mary in Virginia.

• 2013: National School of Public Policy in Lahore.

• 2014: National Defence University in Islamabad.

• 2018: Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Center at Institute of Business Management in Karachi.

• 2018: School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC

8. Awards and Achievements

Ali was listed by Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue as amongst the top 100 individual taxpayers in Pakistan for the year 2013. In 2014, he was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Personal Details

Date of Birth: 5th December, 1976

Place of Birth: Karachi

Parents: Jahangir Siddiqui | Mahvash Siddiqui

Spouse: Saira Munir Ahmed

Alma Mater: Cornell University, Karachi Grammar School