Television host, journalist, and policy consultant Raza Rumi was ICOA’s guest writer from 2015 to 2017. He has long been a leading voice for human rights in his native Pakistan.
Rumi survived an assassination attempt in March 2014 by political Islamists in which his driver lost his life. Within weeks, he left Pakistan for the United States. He was affiliated with New America Foundation and the United States Institute of Peace before moving to Ithaca, where he taught both at Cornell University and Ithaca College.
In 2018 he was named director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College.
Rumi worked for the Government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank before launching his journalism career in 2008. Since then, he has been an editor at The Friday Times, Pakistan’s foremost liberal weekly paper. He also worked as a commentator and a host of talk shows at Capital TV and Express News.
Rumi was director of the Jinnah Institute, a public policy think tank, and executive director of the Justice Network, a coalition of NGOs.
He has continued to produce essays and editorials from the United States for the Pakistani and international press. As a freelance policy professional he advises international development organizations, governments, and NGOs. He also headed NAPSIPAG, an Asia Pacific network on governance.
Rumi’s writings are archived at razarumi.com. His book Delhi by Heart was published by Harper Collins (2013). In his essay, “On the Run”, for Aeon, he describes how calling for secular reform in Pakistan’s politics made him a target for the political Islamists.