Born and raised in Pakistan, Shaista Mahmood moved to the United States in 1976. She is a graduate from University of Punjab in Pakistan. Shaista has long been active in helping people with a special focus on children. For decades, the Mahmoods, Shaista and her husband Rafat Mahmood have been raising money to build schools and support
children in Pakistan and other countries. Shaista serves on boards of several organizations including Children's National Hospital; Developments in Literacy (DIL) in Pakistan; Aschiana Foundation in
Afghanistan; World Affairs Council; and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD). Along with Ray, she also serves on the Advisory Board of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
Shaista is passionate about women's empowerment through education and entrepreneurship and was instrumental in advocating for the creation of the U.S. Pakistan Women's Council, launched at the United Nations in 2012.
that in today's world change can only be initiated by bringing people together and working on the issues collaboratively. To this end, they host events large and small that bring U.S. and Pakistani government, business, military and civil society leaders and experts together to share a meal fostering mutual understanding.
Shaista is a proud mother and grandmother of four children and three grandchildren respectively.