Communication Alumna Enriches Relations Between United States and Pakistan

Mariam's GraduationMariam Shaikh (‘16, Ph.D. Communication) currently serves as the head of digital and social media for the Press Information Department (PID) in Islamabad, Pakistan. “I joined civil bureaucracy in 2002,” she says. “When I entered the service, my interest in the field of media and communication significantly increased and I realized that effective communication can be a great public service.”

To follow her dream, Shaikh knew education was the route to go in order to provide a profound impact on the way she could approach policy and decision-making. This led her to FSU through the Fulbright Program, where she was able to get her doctoral degree. “Most of my achievements and acknowledgment of my work pertains to my post-doctoral period,” she says.

After attending FSU, Mariam was able to take control of the digital media strategy for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Pakistan where she proposed a plan to work systematically in taking digital platforms to manage positive perceptions. Initially, she had no team and decided to train existing staff as a pilot project to show the immediate outcomes that can be achieved by engaging with the internet and social media platforms. Shaikh’s efforts are significant for countries like Pakistan to connect and engage in global narratives. By creating a unified narrative, she has become a focal person for various policy initiatives from the Ministry of Information and visiting faculty in different institutions hosting media workshops to spread her knowledge.

SAMCS 2019 ConferenceOn top of all her impressive accomplishments, Shaikh is a bridge among scholars and professionals in Pakistan and other South Asian countries. She spreads her knowledge by assisting and coordinating the South Asian Media and Cultural Conference (SAMCS) with Dr. Azmat Rasul and Dr. Stephen McDowell, an event organized by CCI and the Globe each year. Even though Mariam is based in Pakistan, she is still able to be an active participant in the event and enjoys interacting with other South Asian scholars. “Technology has virtually bridged the distance. FSU constantly allows me to engage with the scholarly community by helping me serve better in my career with each passing day,” she says.

Utilizing the knowledge gained at FSU and her years of experience in civil service, Shaikh is passionate about translating her knowledge to enrich the relationship between the United States and Pakistan. When asked what the future looks for her, she says “I am looking forward to working as a press counselor at Pakistan’s mission in the United States.”