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The USPCASW’s Dr. Aslam Chaudhry: an Agent of Change

“It is time to get past the talking, and onto the doing.” This one simple sentence summarizes the life’s work of Dr. M. Aslam Chaudhry. For a quarter century Dr. Chaudhry worked on the front lines of international sustainable development for the United Nations. His posts read like a map of the world’s crisis zones and development challenges, taking him from Pakistan to Yemen, Korea, Ethiopia, and Syria. He now serves as the Deputy Director of the USAID-funded US-Pakistan Center for the Advanced Studies in Water at the University of Utah.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Chaudhry developed a pragmatic philosophy for how to get things done in the most challenging of circumstances. He also maintained an untarnished optimism and a belief that individuals, institutions, and entire international systems are capable of change and progress. “We simply need to work hard, and make sure the right things get done.”

The vision he presents for the USPCASW is as a leader in curriculum development and an incubator of solutions-oriented public policy suggestions. “I believe the most effective method of confronting development challenges, and Pakistan’s water crisis specifically, is working to build up the capacity of individuals and institutions.” Through applied research, curriculum development, training, and better public policy, Chaudhry believes, institutions and individuals can overcome the obstacles to reaching their sustainable development goals.

“We have been asking the same questions since I received my PhD thirty years ago,” Chaudhry explains, “and this collaborative effort allows for an opportunity to build a new approach to curriculum development, and eventually better public policy that reflects the best ideas, knowledge, and innovations of the twenty-first century.”