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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
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.

Zayana Zaikariah
Environmental Policy Fellow

Zayana is a part-time researcher at SERI. Her work focuses on environment and sustainability, specifically on developing an Environmental, Social and Governance framework that would benefit various future stakeholder. As her passion lies in raising environmental awareness through educating the masses on the science of climate change, she also has research interest in climate change policy such as impacts of flooding as well as reforming sustainability.

She is a recent Environment & Sustainability graduate from the Australian National University. Prior to SERI, Zayana worked with the United Nations Development Programme and Ministry of Environment

Shakeel Umar
Associate, Communications

Shakeel is a final year university student pursuing a Bachelor of Communications at HELP University. He has a passion for social issues and justice through years of volunteer experience with various NGOs such as Viva Palestina Malaysia and Carefugees. Shakeel is also a part-time spin instructor at Journey Indoor Cycling Studio. In his free time, Shakeel can be found lepaking at mamaks or on Discord gaming with friends.

Nur Sakinah Alzian
Associate, Public Policy

Sakinah is a fresh graduate in Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Sociology) at Sciences Po Paris. Her passion for policy research began during her time volunteering as a writer and editor in Malaysian student organizations in France. She also ran a podcast with her best friend sharing about the challenges of studying abroad.

Sakinah is interested in the issues of education, gender and urban inequality and how they intersect to affect individuals of the community. She volunteered in several NGOs working on those issues such as AFEV France and G4G Malaysia.

A polyglot, she can handle French bureaucracy over the phone, and order food in Korean but she loves her Sarawakian dialect the most. During her free time, she reads tear-inducing books and binge-watching K-dramas.

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