Leadership Support Scheme

The Leadership Support Scheme is a year of workshops and training for our scholarship recipients. During their scholarship period, scholars are offered training days that help develop their personal leadership skills as well as being given opportunities to create meaningful projects which address the needs of their communities.

Recent News from the Leadership Support Scheme


Listed below are some of those who are acting as mentors to our current cohort of scholars, as part of the Leadership Support Scheme:
Sufina Ahmad

Sufina Ahmad is the Director of the John Ellerman Foundation. She works closely with trustees and stakeholders, including grantees, to deliver its strategic direction, governance and grantmaking. Previously, Sufina worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation. She also worked for the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust, in grantmaking, strategy, policy and stakeholder relations roles. She holds trusteeships with Just for Kids Law and The Charterhouse, and previously volunteered with the Institute of Fundraising, as Chair of the Expert Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and is now an honorary Fellow of the Institute.

Ayesha Ahmed

Ayesha graduated from LSE in 2012 with a MSc in Politics and Communication, after attaining a BA in History from Queen Mary University of London. She is currently the Public Affairs Manager at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and has worked in public affairs for over 5 years, previously at the National Union for Students and Macmillan Cancer Support. Her role involves building and maintaining relationships with Parliamentarians and Government officials, informing the political agenda on behalf of ACCA members and gathering relevant external intelligence. She also chairs their internal POC staff group. Outside of work, she chairs the ‘Muslim in Policy and Advocacy Network’, is a volunteer for the West London Islamic Centre and a community activist.

Waheed-Ul-Rahman Ahmed

Waheed-Ul-Rahman is an Aziz Alumnus, having completed his MSc in Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the University of Oxford. He was on the committee of the Oxford Muslim Medics Society and hopes to work closely with the Saïd Business School to develop as a MedTech entrepreneur. He has 17 publications in academic journals and 45 academic prizes and awards, including the BAPRAS John Barron Prize. Previously, he has led the Exeter Surgical Society, was a BMA national student representative, and pioneered initiatives such as the National South West Plastic Surgery Conference and Exeter Charity Week. Waheed-Ul-Rahman’s leadership contributions led to him being named Exeter University’s ‘Student Leader of the Year’.

Fatima Barkatulla

Fatima Barkatulla is an author, Islamic scholar and chaplain, who has completed two Alimiyyah degrees with Distinction from two prominent seminaries in the UK. Her Islamic education spans more than two decades, during which she studied in Egypt at prominent institutes including a college of Al-Azhar University. she has been a key contributor to the discourse surrounding Muslim women in the West, contributing to the Westminster Faith Debates, documentaries and live shows for BBC Radio 4, the World Service, as well as BBC television, Channel 4 and the Islam Channel.

Sabah Choudhry is an Output Producer at Sky News. With the help of the Aziz Foundation, she recently completed her MA in Broadcast Journalism at City University. Sabah’s interests include diversifying storytelling; diaspora communities in Britain; human rights and Middle Eastern politics. She previously worked as a TV presenter and radio DJ, and graduated with a first class honours degree from SOAS, University of London.

Tufyal Choudhury is an Assistant Professor of Law at Durham University, a Senior Associate of the Canadian Network of Researchers on Terrorism, Security and Society and a fellow of the German Marshall Fund Trans-Atlantic Forum on Migration and Integration. His research focuses on human rights, integration and counter terrorism law and policy. He is also a trustee of the Democratic Audit and the John Ellerman Foundation, as well as a senior research fellow at Rights Watch UK.

Rakaya Fetuga is a Royal Holloway Creative Writing graduate and artist in residence at the Roundhouse. She leads poetry workshops with students from primary school to university age, working with organisations such as Poetry Society, Amal and English Touring Theatre. Over the last year she has performed poetry in Barcelona, Rotterdam and at the Glasgow Sufi Festival as well as at prestigious London venues such as Trafalgar Square, Royal Albert Hall and The Ivy.

After graduating from Jesus College, Oxford, in 2002 with BA (Hons) in Physics, Saqib worked as a nuclear physicist for British Nuclear Fuels before travelling to Syria in 2005 to pursue Arabic and Islamic Studies. Upon returning to the UK, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and became a Senior Associate at PriceWater Coopers LLP.

Tufail Hussain joined Islamic Relief UK in 2016 and has over 10 years’ experience in the sector, leading on marketing and fundraising campaigns for a number of international development and humanitarian agencies. As Director of Islamic Relief UK his vision is to help the organisation grow in all departments and in its strengths. Prior to this he held senior roles at various organisations where he established fundraising strategies and showed a strong track record of growing organisational income exponentially.

Shelina Khalid Jilani

Dr Shelina Khalid Jilani has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and her area of research relates to automated ethnicity classification of human face and face-features, from a human and Deep Learning perspective. Dr Jilani is a Facial Comparison Expert with seven years’ industry experience within the discipline of facial image analysis, and works for a private digital imaging company. She is one of very few UK qualified experts in this field and regularly attends court to give expert evidence in many civil and criminal proceedings nationwide. She is a professional member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science and The Facial Identification Scientific Working Group. Since 2018, Dr Jilani has been actively involved in developing and delivering lectures to undergraduate university students at the University of Staffordshire.

Dr Stephen H. Jones is a sociologist of religion whose research focuses on the intersections between belief, politics and public policy. His primary areas of expertise are in Islam and Muslims in the UK and religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science. He is General Secretary of the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN), and a Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham.

Dr Salman Malik is an ex-scientist, an advisory board member and multi-award winning entrepreneur. He has been appointed as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Loughborough University London and an Associate Academic at London South Bank University teaching and building programmes to promote entrepreneurial skills. Following his PhD, he founded a biotech startup and successfully raised funding to work on the research and development of a process used to cost-effectively develop microparticles. He was awarded a prestigious Enterprise Fellowship from The Royal Society of Edinburgh, allowing him to transition into an entrepreneur and CEO.

Farhana Mayer is a former lecturer at SOAS and at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, where she also headed the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities. She has been involved in interfaith and Muslim interdenominational engagement for several years. Farhana is currently engaged in doctoral research on Muslim scriptural hermeneutics at the University of Oxford.

Dr Shamim Miah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. He is the author of three books: Race, Place and Space: M62 and the Corridor of Uncertainty (forthcoming, Palgrave); Muslims, Schooling and the Question of Self-Segregation, which won the ‘highly commended’ book award by the Society for Educational Studies’ in 2016, and Muslims and the Question of Security: Trojan Horse, Prevent and Racialised Politics. Shamim was the co-SIG convener for BERA (British Educational Research Association) and is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Post-Normal Policy and Futures Study. He is currently writing a biography of Ibn Khaldun.

Khaled Moyeed

Khaleed Moyeed completed the Bar Vocational Course in 2007 and worked in the Cabinet Office as a Legal Policy Adviser advising ministers, peers and MPs on charity law. In 2013, he qualified as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading international law firm working its London, Dubai and Doha offices. He specialised in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration at another law firm in the City of London. In recent years, Khaled has launched his own legal practice specialising in dispute resolution and charity law. He also entered politics, getting elected as a Councillor in 2018, and is active in the Muslim community providing pro-bono legal advice through various organisations.

Ferdousur Rehman

Ferdousur Rehman is the Aziz Foundation’s former Communications and Public Relations Officer. He has worked as a curator and content editor in higher education and the public sector.

Martyn Rush holds an MPhil in Oriental Studies and is currently completing his DPhil at the University of Oxford. His research explores the finance issues impacting British Muslims. An Oxford City councillor, he campaigns and works on social justice issues such as fairer housing and promoting the Living Wage. He is also co-founder of the Oxford Labour Muslim Network.

Maha Sardar

Maha Sardar has been working in the field of immigration, asylum and human rights for over a decade. Currently, she is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, where she is passionate about the protection and representation of vulnerable clients, including victims of torture,
unaccompanied minors and cases involving trafficking and FGM. Previously, she worked in the private client team at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, where she assisted individuals with a wide range of immigration services.

Shafina Vohra has a wealth of experience gained across various schools and education set ups. She has pioneered novel approaches to learning and teaching, particularly as a certified LEGO Education Academy Teacher Trainer. She attends conferences and education events both in the UK and globally either to present developments in STEM education, her own work or to deliver workshops. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Imperial College London.

Dr Tarek Younis is a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University. He was previously a British Academy fellow, whose research explored the racialisation of Muslims as a result of statutory counter-terrorism policies in the NHS. He researches and writes on Islamophobia, the securitisation and racism of mental health, and how counter-radicalisation enters into clinical logic. He teaches on the impact of culture, religion, globalisation and security policies on health interventions.

Dr Gehad Youssef is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow, studying cancer stem cell heterogeneity in oral and breast cancer using 2D and 3D in vitro models, at the Adrian Biddle Lab, Queen Mary University of London. He obtained a BSc in molecular genetics from King’s College London and then an MRes in Biomedicine at UCL, where he also completed a PhD at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. He has previously worked evaluating prognostic markers in neuroblastoma, and at the UCL Cancer Institute investigated the role of DNA methyltransferases in embryonic stem cells.

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