A former Fulbright scholar, Malik Siraj Akbar is a journalist, communications specialist and a political analyst based in Washington D.C.
He is a Contributing Writer at the Huffington Post and a 2012 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington D.C. where he researched Threats to Defenders of Democracy in Pakistan, particularly in the province of Balochistan.
Akbar is the founder and the editor of the Baloch Hal, Pakistan's first hyper-local online English language newspaper. Previously, he was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Arizona State University. As a part of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, he served as a visiting journalist at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a project of Center for Public Integrity, Washington D.C. in 2011. He was a visiting journalist at the Poynter Institute, Florida in June 2011.
Akbar has extensively covered the military operation in Balochistan, the Baloch nationalist movement, enforced disappearances, targeted killings, sectarian violence; Taliban operations, women’s rights, press freedom, the religious radicalization of Baloch society and several natural disasters. As a journalist, Akbar has covered several local and general elections held in Balochistan. His work has appeared in Chicago Tribune, the Times of India, Dawn, the Hindu, and Express Tribune.
As a political analyst, Akbar has been interviewed and/or quoted by several national and international media and human rights organizations such as CNN, Aljazeera, the New York Times, the Examiner, the Huffington Post, Washington Times, B.B.C. Urdu, Voice of America, Radio Canada International, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Hindu, the New Indian Express, International Herald Tribune, Reuters, the Diplomat, Mcclatchy, Express Tribune, Dawn, Daily Times, The News International, GARA (Spanish), Geo News, Headlines Today, News TV One, Saama TV, Pakistan Television, Vash TV, KTN, Radio Gwank, Radio Balochistan, Sindh TV, HD Net (USA), IPS, the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, Asia Society, Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), Asian Human Rights Commission, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and several others.
Akbar has addressed audiences at various national and international conferences and top institutions including Harvard University, the University of California Berkeley, George Washington University, the American University, George Mason University, Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and several other reputed institutions.
Akbar earned his B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Balochistan, Pakistan; a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India, where he served as the first Pakistani male journalist to be awarded the South Asia Foundation (SAF) Media Scholarship. He got a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, M.A.