Mukhtar Ahmad Ali is a development professional and activist, who has been advocating for inclusive, participatory and transparent governance and corporate practices in Pakistan. He has an M. Phil degree in Development Studies (with distinction) from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK; and over 20 years of work experience in areas like consumer protection, elections, parliamentary strengthening, democratic development, governance, right to information, local governments and budget transparency. He is currently working as Executive Director of Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), and as National Coordinator of the Coalition for Election and Democracy (CED). In the past, he has worked as Team Leader/ Senior Technical Advisor on Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan (CDIP) Project, which largely focused on supporting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in preparing for the 2018 General Election. The project was funded by the British Government and was implemented by a UK-based international organization namely Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). From May 2014 to April 2017, he worked as Information Commissioner at the Punjab Information Commission, which is a special institution established by the Government of the Punjab under the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 to facilitate and enforce citizens’ right to information. Before joining the Commission in May 2014, he worked for three years as Chief of Party of the USAID’s US$45 million ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Voice and Public Accountability Project’.
In the past, he has served on the boards of Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE), the Trust for Democratic Education Accountability (TDEA)/ Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) and Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI). Currently, he is on the board of the Institute of Rural Management (IRM). He has the experience of observing elections in Pakistan, as well as a in other countries as a member of observation missions of the Commonwealth Observers Group and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFRAL). For several years, he served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Federal Tax Ombudsman. He played an important role in the civil society efforts for right to information, right to education, whistle-blowers’ protection and electoral reform legislation in Pakistan, especially in terms of research, promoting public debate and engagement with relevant parliamentary committees. He has served as a member of committees setup by the Government of the Punjab, which drafted the bills on right to information and whistle-blowers’ protection. Furthermore, he is a visiting faculty member of, among others, the Federal Elections Academy (FEA), Islamabad; National Institute of Management (NIM), Lahore; NIM, Quetta; and National Management College (NMC), Lahore; where he has been delivering lectures on right to information and foreign policy of Pakistan.