Who we are

Dr Helmy Haja Mydin

  Chief Executive Officer  

Helmy is the Head of the Lung Centre at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Having completed his respiratory training in the United Kingdom, he returned to Malaysia as an Associate Professor with Universiti Malaya with a passion for healthcare policies, particularly in the area of tobacco control.


One of twenty global recipients of the Inter Academy Medical Panel’s Young Physician Leader award and part of Tatler’s Gen T, Helmy was a Research Fellow at IDEAS and is a co-founder of Asthma Malaysia. He remains actively involved in the development of respiratory medicine at national and regional levels and regularly presents and writes for both academia and the media. In his spare time, Helmy can be found bemoaning the fact that he enjoyed Frozen 2 more than The Rise of Skywalker.

Rashaad Ali

  Chief Operations Officer  

Prior to joining SERI, Rashaad was a policy advisor to the Parliamentary Office of Permatang Pauh under YB Nurul Izzah Anwar. He previously worked as an analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore with a research focus on federalism, institutionalism and public policy, publishing in academia as well as in media.


Rashaad also spent three years as an editorial manager at Groupon Malaysia. An avid musician, Rashaad has played drums in local bands for over 10 years and can still be found behind the kit at live music venues across the city.

Yolanda Augustin Headshot.jpg
Yolanda Augustin

  Senior Fellow - Health  

I am a Malaysian oncologist with a passion for global oncology and social justice. I believe that quality healthcare is a fundamental human right. I currently co-lead a research programme at St George's University of London with Professor Sanjeev Krishna, focusing on developing affordable therapeutics and diagnostics for cancer in Low and Middle Class Income Countries (LMICs).


Our work brings together interdisciplinary experts from academia, global health and industry, with research collaborations in Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Senegal. Our current research is focused on drug repurposing for cancer and affordable point-of-care diagnostics for HPV DNA screening for cervical cancer. We also work with community health care champions in rural communities on removing barriers to equitable healthcare access and delivery.

Anisha Nadkarni

  Research Fellow  

Anisha works as a Data Analyst in the innovation and digitalisation department of a multinational corporation. She is an alumnus of the University of Oxford's Internet Institute (OII), where she earned her Masters degree in Social Science of the Internet, centred around the societal and policy implications of digital technologies. Though currently based in the Netherlands, she aims to bring this knowledge and experience back to Malaysia.


When she isn't curled up with a good book, Anisha might be found on her yoga mat, dancing her heart out, or getting carried away in the kitchen trying out new recipes.

Ahmad Arif Astaman 

  Research Fellow  

Ahmad Arif Astaman holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London and a Master of Science in Sport Management from Birkbeck College, University of London.He started his career in the retailing of firearms and ammunition before venturing into sport event management via the Jelajah Malaysia cycling race, and eventually becoming consultant to the Ministry of Youth and Sport for the Le Tour de Langkawi. He was also previously Head of Shared Services in the Shapadu Group, and an independent, non-executive director of Vastalux Energy Berhad (now known as Barakah Offshore Petroleum Berhad). 


He is currently a non-executive director in Nusa Utama Sdn Bhd, a property developer based in South Johor, and a trustee of the Titiwangsa Education Foundation in Kuala Lumpur. He remains actively involved in the field of sport administration, serving as Race Director for the Tour of Peninsular, President of the Kuala Lumpur Cycling Association, Council Member of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation and occasional legal counsel to the Kuala Lumpur Football Association. He is also a graduate of the Olympic Solidarity Advanced Sport Management Course (ASMC), and is currently an Olympic Council of Malaysia facilitator for the Sport Administrator Course (SAC). He also volunteers as the Research Coordinator for the Setiawangsa Member of Parliament. His areas of interest are sport management, corporate governance, defence and home affairs.

Syafiqa Zakaria


Syafiqa graduated from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in International Affairs with interest in wealth and education gap before working as a parliamentary officer for Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament. Syafiqa previously was an intern with the Parliamentary Office of Lembah Pantai; where she eagerly learned how does this social work in real politics with real people.


Optimistic in completing her Master of Political Science in 2021. If you don’t catch her in the office, Syafiqa might be at a nearby cafe; sipping a cup of coffee and having a slice of cake while drawing in her sketchbook and secretly thinking on how the world can be a better place.

Caitlin Alexandra

  Associate, Public Policy & Communications  

Prior to joining SERI, Caitlin worked at the Office of Parliament Petaling Jaya where she researched policies and laws. She also organised programs for the underprivileged. 


Caitlin was previously an intern with Microsoft Malaysia, where she worked on policy research and analysis on digital economy and emerging polices and regulations for Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia and participated actively in policy dialogues in Malaysia. She had also worked on issues-based stakeholder mapping for these markets.


She is currently reading Law at Brickfields Asia College. During her free time, Caitlin can be found drawing, reading classical literature or binge-watching shows on Netflix. 

Nur Amalina Ahmad Zaki

  Associate, Public Policy & Communications  

Amalina is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Economics and Politics at the University of Bristol. She has a keen interest in ASEAN development and security studies. Previously, she was an intern with Karim Raslan Associates (KRA Group) where she conducted policy research on a multitude of topics affecting Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. In her free time, she reads historical fantasy novels or watches crime shows.