Meet Our Advisors


Donald R. Mickelwait

Senior Advisor

Mr. Donald R Mickelwait has 50 years of experience providing management, program, and policy consulting for international development. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Experience International, Inc. (EI) since 2003, he has led that Thailand-based, US-registered company to become an established USAID and Asian Development Bank (ADB) contractor. He was previously founder and CEO/President of Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) 1970–2000. He served as DAI’s resident representative in China from 2000 to 2003, and was a member of DAI’s Board of Directors from 1970 through 2006. Mr. Mickelwait grew DAI (with the assistance of many others) from a start-up in 1970 to one of the largest and most accomplished international development consulting firms, working with major organizations in the development community, including USAID, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). DAI is employee-owned and had (in 2010) annual gross revenues exceeding $500 million.

In addition to managing a growing consulting firm, Mr. Mickelwait has undertaken assignments in more than 50 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where he has designed projects for donor funding worth more than $800 million, and led comprehensive evaluations of development project impact. He has made a specialty of planning and designing programs with extensive monitoring and evaluation systems. He was team leader for the design of eight USAID projects in the Economic Growth cone of USAID/Pakistan. He assisted in the design and establishment of a USDA-funded project for horticulture development in Baluchistan. As the initial Chief of Party for the establishment of the USAID’s $80 million Independent Monitoring and Evaluation Contract in Pakistan, he initiated the project, hired key staff and began evaluation and monitoring services.


Senior Advisor


Valerie Haugen

Education & Gender Expert

Dr. Valerie Haugen is an experienced educator and researcher with more than 25 years of experience in working in over 29 countries including countries with stable development contexts and those countries affected by conflict and/or crises. Dr. Haugen has a master’s degree in first and second languages and cultures education (including coursework in cultural anthropology, diversity, comparative education and first and second languages research, teaching/learning methods and curriculum development including reading). These foci have been underpinned by research as a cross cutting dimension, with a doctoral degree in international and comparative education (including coursework in cultural anthropology and cross-cultural psychology) with a concentration in language policy and planning and language education (including research on language acquisition and on teaching and learning). Dr. Haugen has worked at all levels of education systems in diverse contexts and with a wide range of individuals and groups. She has brought together a deep understanding of developing country challenges with a comprehensive research portfolio. She has worked at field and headquarters levels for bi- and multi-lateral organizations including USAID, DFID, AusAID, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the UN as well as international and indigenous NGOs.

Dr. Haugen is highly experienced in the provision of advice on strategy and policy development, activity design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation activities across sectors. Professional process facilitator successful in spearheading diverse projects involving evaluation and strategic planning, management of complex change, leadership/management development and coaching/training in large organizations and systems and enhancing learning and development of individuals. Dr. Haugen has extensive experience with gender and development and she has undertaken gender analyses and assessments of donor portfolios and examined the gender and social equity approaches of numerous projects. She has a particular interest in the education of females across levels of education systems and has an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and barriers to girls and women receiving good quality education.


Ahmed Saeed Shaikh

Monitoring Expert

Ahmed Shaikh is a social scientist and development strategist. His key strengths are in the areas of grant management, civil society strengthening, organisational development, and monitoring and evaluation. In his professional career, he has been a resource person, consultant, and technical advisor for many international organizations (USAID, DFID, CIDA, UNDP, NORAD, and ADB) and academic institutions. With degrees in urban development, environment and resources, and architecture, he has been a recipient of scholarships from CIDA and the Rockefeller Foundation for his graduation and post-graduation studies.

He has provided managerial and technical leadership on a wide range of assignments associated with the planning, implementation and assessment of USAID/Pakistan’s portfolio.

In the past, he has worked with UNDP as Management Adviser for its FATA Return and Rehabilitation Strategy, and was commissioned by the Management Systems International (MSI), Washington as Director of the Monitoring Unit for its USAID/Pakistan ‘Monitoring and Evaluation Program’ (MEP) from August 2011 to December 2014.

He has remained involved with HTSPE, UK as Team Leader for the UK–DFID funded ‘Support for Earthquake Monitoring and Evaluation Programme’ – SEMP for the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). Prior to that he had a seven-year association with the Aga Khan Development Network – AKDN (July 1997 – March 2004), where he headed the portfolio of the Civil Society Programmes and the CIDA funded Social Institutions Development Programme (SIDP). He also managed the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service’s Built Environment Programme (BACIP) for multi altitude rural and urban communities in the Northern Areas and Chitral.


Ms. Huma Akhtar Chughtai

Gender, Governance, Conflict and Law Advisor

Ms. Huma Akhtar Chughtai is a governance, gender & development, parliamentary & judicial reform specialist. She has a professional standing of over 26 years of having worked as a Lawyer, and as an internationally trained Legislative Researcher as well as a Governance, Law, Human Rights and Gender Specialist. She has served in various key positions within the government as well as within the development sector. Most of her work in the government has been with the National Assembly of Pakistan where she served in a senior position for over a decade. She also worked briefly with the Ministry of Law, justice & Human Rights and the Ministry of Women Development in the past. She is currently serving as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights on a short term contractual position, assigned to manage the Treaty Implementation Cell (TIC) that coordinates and ensures an institutional mechanism to implement human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan within the government. Besides, she also supervises the country reporting mechanism on international human rights conventions ratified by Pakistan and is assigned to respond to legal opinions on a range of issues sought by various government departments and ministries.

In the Development Sector Ms. Chughtai has been working for over a decade in the realm of Legal, Judicial, Parliamentary, Gender and Police Reforms. Gender and Human Rights stand out as cross-cutting in all her work. She has, therefore, a unique firsthand experience in top level government and parliamentary policy and decision making processes, and has also a rich experience of working in the development sector with some prestigious international organizations in the given areas of her work.

The institutional experiences of Ms. Chughtai include the Parliament, the Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights, and the UN agencies like the UNIFEM/UNWomen, UNDP, UNAIDS, and INGOs like GIZ, The Asia Foundation, World Vision, IFES, Hienrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), and the USAID. In addition, she has been providing technical assistance, trainings and advisory services to the Ministry of Women Development, in which she was responsible for reviewing women protective legislative measures, identifying capacity building measures for the stakeholders in the implementation of national and international Commitments including CEDAW, Beijing Platform of Action, and MDGs etc. In the National Assembly of Pakistan, in addition to heading the Research Section as Director Research, Ms. Chughtai has also served as secretary to five Standing Committees including Women Development & Social Welfare, Health, and the Special Committee of the Parliament on Water Resources. Ms. Chughtai has constantly provided technical assistance to the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus in the National Assembly of Pakistan since its inception in 2008.

In the past Ms. Chughtai has worked as the Key Technical/Senior Legal Expert with the EU funded project on “Improving Parliamentary Performance in Pakistan (IP3); as Senior Program Advisor to the UNIFEM Pakistan; served as the Senior Technical Advisor to the GTZ’s project on ‘Capacity Building of the Federal Ministry of Women Development in Pakistan’; as the Deputy Team Leader of the ADB funded “Legal and Judicial Reform Project – A two year curtain raiser of the Access to Justice Program” with The Asia Foundation; and as Governance Advisor with the World Vision on its Parliamentary Strengthening Project.

As a freelance consultant, Ms. Chughtai completed a six month assignment as a Consultant Gender Advisor to IFES (International Foundation for Election Systems) in which she undertook an assessment of low women voter turnout and the low women presence in the Election Commission of Pakistan. This was followed by drafting an outline of a “Gender Strategy” for the Election Commission of Pakistan. Her Project Evaluation experience includes working with the UNDP and the USAID. She undertook an assessment of USAID’s Energy Projects with gender perspective as part of a four member team. She has participated in the mid-term evaluation of two UNDP assistance projects including Gender Based Governance (GBG), and the Gender Justice through Musalihat Anjuman (GJTMA).

Ms. Chughtai also has extensive report writing experience and amongst other, her latest venture in this regard was writing the five year performance report of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (2008 – 2013) in 2013. Other work includes developing the “Policy Guidelines for Vulnerable Groups in Disasters” for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in April 2014 that was followed by developing “Implementation Framework for the Policy Guidelines for Vulnerable Groups in Disasters” for NDMA. Ms. Chughtai also drafted a report on “Legal Provisions for Women; Issues and Challenges of Implementation Amongst the Police” for the GIZ’s Gender Responsive Policing (GRP) Project (December 2013). Besides this, she has also produced the first annual report of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa Prisons (2013 – 14) for the Inspectorate of Prisons, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Ms. Chughtai has a growing interest and focus on undertaking advocacy work on the role of women in countering terrorism. She is one of the founding members of “Amn O’Nisa” – a professional women’s coalition on moderating extremism in Pakistan. She has been instrumental in bringing the women parliamentarian’s attention towards assuming a role in countering terrorism in their representative role and in motivating them to play a role in enhancing a meaningful role of women police in countering violent extremism in Pakistan. She is also a member of ICAN (International Civil Society Action Network that advocates and raises women’s voices on issues of rights, security & peace in countries undergoing transitions and are affected by rising militarization and extremism).


Mr. Musaddiq Ahmed Khan

Energy Sector Advisor

With 21 years of experience under his belt, Mr. Musaddiq has attained expertise in management of policy (formulation, advocacy and implementation), project (Complex and multifunctional across various environments), resource, risk and staff. His areas of knowledge extend to contract administration, supervising, process improvement and quality management. Mr. Musaddiq has been a transaction advisor for M/S Energy Vision where he worked on the concept paper for Prime Minister’s National Distributed GenerationProgram, development of 50 MW Wind Power Project, 7 MW Hydel Power Project, 5 MW PV Solar Power Project.

Previously he had been engaged as DG (Energy Management) AEDB/ Joint Secretary (Special Projects) for Ministry of Water & Power where he gained experience in preparing and conducting regular briefings on power sector management (conservation, revenue recovery, control of losses), analyzing and preparing power generation and load management plans, including assessment of financial and fuel resource requirement (financial plans), analyzing source-wise buildup of payables in the power sector and receivables to identify measures for top-level decision making, designing progress review matrices for monthly monitoring of power sector revenue recovery. He has acted as the focal person for bilateral coordination and negotiations for USD 20 billion power sector projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well. He also directly supervised finalization of Implementation and Energy Purchase agreements and successfully steered financial close of9 wind power projects of 420 MW capacity.

Working as the Joint Secretary (Transmission) Ministry of Water & Power / MD for National Transmission & Despatch Company Ltd, he managed the transmission of networks from generation bus to DISCO level common delivery points, supervised annual development program of NTDCL with a financial outlay of $ 250 million, participated actively in the formulation of GoP’s framework for power generation through bagasse and biomass under the Alternate Energy Power Policy 2006.Furthermore, he has also crafted a research paper, namely “Why Circular Debt Burgeons in the Power Sector?” (2013), during Senior Management Course at Pakistan’s premier National School of Public Policy.