Senior bureaucrat hired as HEC executive director

Updated 09 Oct 2020

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The Higher Education Commission hired services of senior bureaucrat Dr Shaista Sohail (BPS-22) on deputation against the post of Executive Director.  — DawnNewsTv/File
The Higher Education Commission hired services of senior bureaucrat Dr Shaista Sohail (BPS-22) on deputation against the post of Executive Director. — DawnNewsTv/File

ISLAMABAD: After announcing the vacant post thrice and failing to get a “suitable” candidate, the Higher Education Commission hired services of senior bureaucrat Dr Shaista Sohail (BPS-22) on deputation against the post of Executive Director (ED).

The post fell vacant in October 2018 after the resignation of Dr Arshad Ali, who was appointed after a competitive process on the MP-I post on a four-year fixed term.

After his resignation, the HEC advertised the post thrice but surprisingly could not get a “suitable” candidate in a country where the HEC itself has been helping universities to produce a large number of PhDs for years.

Finally, the HEC decided to give up the process of filling the post through the competitive process and opted to hire the services of the senior bureaucrat.

An official in the HEC told Dawn that Dr Sohail joined the HEC on deputation after approval from HEC Selection Board. “There is no illegality in this appointment, we followed the process,” said HEC’s spokesperson Aayesha Ikram.

Sources in the HEC said after completing the process of appointment, the HEC selection board got a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the prime minister for appointing the new ED. They said the new ED would not get MP-1 package rather her appointment was made on standard terms and conditions of civil servants. The ED HEC acts as the principal accounting officer.

“Dr Shaista Sohail, a BPS-22 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, has joined the HEC as its executive director,” said a press release issued by HEC on Thursday.

With a doctorate in International Relations from Geneva School of Diplomacy, Switzerland, and Master’s in Economics from Punjab University, Dr Sohail brings with her a diverse experience of serving at national and international levels, the press release said.

It said starting her career as a lecturer in economics at Government College for Women, Okara, she joined Civil Service of Pakistan in 1985 with her first assignment as assistant commissioner Karachi South.

Her key postings included Joint Secretary Policy and Planning, Ministry of Industries, Member Estate CDA, Joint Secretary Debt Management/Japan EAD, Additional Secretary to the President of Pakistan, Special Secretary Cabinet, Secretary Statistics, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Deputy Secretary Commerce WTO and Economic Counsellor to WTO, Geneva.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2020