Keynote Speakers


Prof. Dr. Amran Rasli
Vice Chancellor
SUMAIT University,
Zanzibar, Tanzania

Professor Dr. Amran Rasli has a PhD in Society, Business & Globalisation from Roskilde University, Denmark. He owns a copyright on a conference management system and several other research frameworks and questionnaires. He is a director and CEO of a spin-off company that organizes training and conferences nationally and abroad. He also liaises, plans and conducts entrepreneurship activities with funding agencies to ensure long term sustainability and impact for the entrepreneurs and the agencies concerned. At the Azman Hashim International Business School, UTM, Professor Amran teaches postgraduate students, supervise doctoral students, conduct research projects and write journals for publication as per the requirement of the university. Professor Amran is still active in academic supervision having graduated 49 PhD from UTM, 1 PhD from Asia E University, 2 from University of Southern Australia; 21 Master students; and 22 undergraduate students. In addition, he is still supervising 6 PhD students who are at the end of the proposal stage. He is the principal investigator of 15 out of 23 research projects worth RM1.2 million and had headed 29 projects valued at RM0.5 million. He was the postgraduate examiner for 63 PhD, 3 DBA and 5 MSc candidates from various local and international universities. He has written 187articles (80 indexed by Scopus and 23 with ISI Journal Impact Factor); 4 textbooks; 7 book chapters and 2 novels; 65 conference proceeding papers and was invited to deliver keynote address at 16 international conferences as well as speaker  for 44 workshops and training programs. As of July 1, 2018, Professor Amran has been seconded from UTM to be the Vice Chancellor of SUMAIT University, Zanzibar and also an Executive Committee Member and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muslim University Morogoro, Tanzania.

Dr. Azizan Murzaki
Associate Professor 
Tourism Development 
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Dr. Azizan Marzuki joined Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 2009 after completing his Ph.D. in Australia. Prior to that, he worked with PLANMalaysia from 1993 until 2001. He is also an Adjunct Research Associate with the Faculty of English, Humanities, Law, and Theology at Flinders University, Australia. Currently, he is an Academic Advisor for Urban Planning Programme with POLIMAS and the Tourism and Hospitality courses assessor with UiTM. Since 2017, he has been appointed by PLANMalaysia as an Expert Panel Member for SIA evaluation and a Committee Member for the SIA competency course. Moreover, his research interest covers a wider area such as tourism planning and development, urban and regional planning, public participation process, social impact assessment, and research methodology.’

Dr. Irena Mrak
Associate Professor/Mountaineer
 Environmental Protection College in Velenje, Slovenia

Besides working as Associate Professor at Environmental Protection College in Velenje, Slovenia Dr. Irena Mrak, is a mountain geographer and a mountaineer. Her research is focused on environmental impacts of human activities in the World’s highest areas, predominantly in Karakorum and Hindukush, Pakistan. Her long term research is related to the Karakorum –socio-economic and environmental aspects of tourism. In her mountaineering career she is devoted to pure and ethical alpine style ascents to highest elevations. Dr. Irena has also written a book titled ‘High Mountain Areas and their Resilience to Tourism Development’.


Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai
International Islamic
University, Islamabad

Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Meritorious Professor of Biochemistry and currently the Rector, International Islamic University, is one of the leading scientist and educationist of Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Masoom has already served one tenure each as Vice-Chancellor, Balochistan University and the country’s top University, i.e. Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.  He is the author of 131 research publications in top international science journals and has also contributed chapters in international publications/encyclopedias.  Based on ranking by the council for science and technology, ministry of S & T Pakistan, he is graded over the past few years as the productive scientist in Pakistan. He spent 30 years in the University of Balochistan as Professor, Dean and Vice Chancellor of that premier University of the Province and no doubt played a key role in the establishment of science & scientific activities in that Province.  His research work over the years has resulted in number of scientific discoveries, the recent one being the development of a new chemotherapeutic agent against Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease highly endemic in Pakistan.  These days he is striving hard for establishing research & development centre for Leishmania research in the country. He has worked as visiting faculty & research associate in many prestigious academic institutions of the world, including Chicago Medical School, USA; Perugia Medical School, Italy; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and Calcutta Institute of Chem. Biology, India.  He has developed not only the in country academic linkages but with the scientists abroad as well. The recent one being the establishment of a practical linkage with the Razi & Pasteur institute in Iran on work in biotechnology.

Mr. Nazir Sabir
Pride of performance /
Former President
Alpine Club

Mountains fascinated Nazir Sabir from his early days in Hunza, the place where he was born and brought up. Soon this fascination became a passion and over two decades of wandering in the higher wilderness earned him many successes including the distinction of having climbed four of the five 8000m peaks in Pakistan including the inhospitable K2 (8616m) the world’s second highest via a new route – the West Ridge/SSW Ridge in 1981. On May 17, 2000, he stood on the summit of Everest becoming the first Pakistani to have touched the roof of the world. He was elected as the President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan to which he was re-elected with overwhelming majority on October 26, 2007 for another term of 3 years, accepted the challenge as the first civilian President for the reorganization and new outlook of the club. Initiated several steps to enhance the adventure activities and established close liaison with the government agencies to acquire maximum benefits for mountaineers and trekkers.  Apart from the adventure travel business which he is running under the name of Nazir Sabir Expeditions he has been actively involved in promotion of tourism in Pakistan and has traveled extensively around the world lecturing and promoting the country’s cultural, historical, adventure potential and soft image. He has also been raising his voice on environmental matters in the mountains of Pakistan. He earned the prestigious President’s Award for PRIDE OF PERFORMANCE in 1982 and The SITARA-I-IMTIAZ (Star of Distinction) in 2001 for his outstanding achievements in mountaineering. As a reward of years of services rendered to the people of Hunza, he was elected as their representative to the Northern Area Legislative Council in the October 1994 elections with a heavy mandate and was appointed Advisor on Education and Tourism, Northern Areas.

Prof. Dr. Viqar Hussain

Former Chairman at Department of Geology/Dean Faculty of Science, University of Karachi

Prof. Dr. Viqar Husain is the Former Chairman at Department of Geology and Dean Faculty of Science, University of Karachi. He is founder Convener SEGMITE, AGID Vice President and Chief Editor of online International Journal of Economic and Environmental Geology. After serving for about 12 years in Pakistan CSIR, he joined as Professor of Geology at University of Karachi in 1999 and currently is engaged in research and teaching Economic and Environmental Geology at University of Karachi and Federal Urdu University, Karachi. He has published over 50 research papers, supervised a number of M.Phil/Ph.D students and organized many national/international conferences.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Naeem Khan
Vice Chancellor, University of Baltistan, Skardu

Presently, working as Vice Chancellor, University of Baltistan Skardu GB, since June 2018. Previously, he worked as Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences & Professor of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore from 2005 to 2018. He started his career in 1986 as Assistant Director Fisheries, Government of Punjab after his Masters from the University of the Punjab, became Deputy Director Fisheries in 1989 and Director of Fisheries Department in 1996 after completion of his Ph.D. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. After serving the Government of Punjab for 16 years, in 2003, he joined the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore as its founding Dean & Professor, Faculty of Fisheries & Wildlife. In his capacity as Chairman, he established two new, Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture and Department of Wildlife & Ecosystems at UVAS during 2003-2004. Soon after his appointment as Professor of Zoology at the University of the Punjab, he served as the founding Director of External Linkages for one year and finally as Registrar (Principal Administrative Officer) of the university from March 2005 to September 2010. Post-Doc from Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada), Post-Doc from University of Wales, Swansea (UK), Post-Doc from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), Post-Doc from University of Crete (Greece), Visiting Professor, University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic), Visiting Professor, HAKI, Szarvas (Hungary), Visiting Professor, Kastamonu University (Turkey), Visiting Professor, Liverpool (UK), Visiting Professor, YKSUG (Belarus), he is recipient of forty-three (43) Distinctions, Honors & Academic Achievements, including five (5) Gold Medals/Awards, author of fifty (50) internationally published and forty nine (49) nationally published research papers and have attended forty (40) international conferences, overseas. He has supervised theses research of five (5) PhD and many graduate students. He has been Member of various prestigious university bodies and statutory organs like university Senate, Syndicate, Selection Board, Academic Council, Finance & Planning Committee, Advanced Studies & Research Board, Affiliation Committee, Boards of Faculties, Board of Studies etc. He has rare, unique and diversified national and international level thirty-three (33) years of academic, teaching, administrative, governmental, research and university level higher education administration and management experience to his credit.

Dr. Irfan Ullah Jan
Associate Professor
National Center of Excellence in Geology
University of Peshawar, Pakistan

Dr. Irfan U. Jan has BSc., and MSc. from Pakistan and PhD from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Previously, attached with the Geo-Services East, as a geologist, and having industrial experience in the oil and gas-bearing sedimentary exploratory basins of Pakistan, and UAE and in-depth knowledge of hydrocarbon bearing strata from these countries, Dr. Jan switched to academia in 2005 and progressed through the positions of Lecturer, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the National Centre of Excellence in Geology, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

Dr. Jan’s research interest incorporates the stratigraphic, and sedimentological investigation of the Permian-Triassic and Jurassic successions of Pakistan. He has published numerous papers in the international well-reputed impact factor journals (including Q1 impact factor journal), and has attended and delivered the outcomes of his research in several international conferences in Portugal, Canada, Poland, London, Italy, Greece and The Netherlands.

Air Vice-Marshal (Retd) Faaiz Amir, HI (M), Vice Chancellor Air University, Islamabad 

Presently working as Vice Chancellor of Air University (AU). AVM Faaiz Amir (Retd.) has served in Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for over years. He has been a distinguished professional of PAF and commanded the prestigious Combat Commanders School of Pakistan Air Force. He also served as Commandant National Security College of National Defence University (NDU).
He possesses high command and management skills along with the advance academic background. His appointment as Vice Chancellor of this esteemed University has been hailed in academic and learned community.

Dr. Moin Uddin

Dr. Moin Uddin has diverse cross functional experience in strategic partnerships, project management, monitoring and evaluation, research, academics, organizational development and training. He is a strategic alignment expert, program management practitioner, instructional designer, mentor, coach and consultant. He has experience of aligning project delivery with corporate social responsibility and business strategy by blending best practices from standardization.  At present, he is associated with Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) ‐ Subsidiary of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development as Corporate Director Training and Development ‐ South and Central Asia. He is responsible for Quality Assurance, Standardization and Training (QAST). His areas include developing institutional partnerships, programme development, learning, innovation and capacity development. Dr. Moin has practitioner level expertise on Development of Quality, Health, Environmental, and Sustainability Reporting Systems. He has a PhD in Strategy, Programme and Project Management, from Skema Business School, France, MBA with distinction from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi and Bachelors from Punjab University in Economics and Statistics. Post Graduate Diploma in WTO and Intellectual Property Rights. Dr. Moin is a PhD/ DBA supervisor at Skema Business School, France. Being engaged with academics and education is his passion and one of the best pastimes. He is a reviewer for Journal of Enterprise Information Management (JEIM) and editorial board member for International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Science (IJKSS). 

Aftab ur Rehman Rana
Sustainable Development
Foundation, Pakistan

Mr. Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana is professionally associated with tourism industry since 1988. He is a well-known figure in tourism industry especially due to his pioneering efforts for the promotion of sustainable tourism, ecotourism and youth adventure tourism in Pakistan. He has extensively travelled throughout the country and abroad and has vast experience of tourism product development, destination development, tourism human resource development, tourism planning, policy formulation, marketing and promotion.

Mr. Rana is presently serving as the President of Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan.  He is also a member of National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) recently established by Prime Minister of Pakistan and a member of Board of Directors of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). He has also worked as consultant with various international donor agencies and developmental organizations and has been instrumental to develop tourism policies of KP Province, Gilgit-Baltistan and Cultural & Heritage Strategy for the province of Punjab. He is also working these days on developing some ecotourism projects in Sindh, Balochistan, KPK, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK.

His efforts to promote tourism have been recognized at national and international level. He has received number of awards including Commonwealth Asia Award for Excellence, the Trainer of The Year Award from the South Asia Tourism Human Resource Development Project (SATHRDP), Government of Pakistan’s Better Pakistan-2010 Excellence Award in the field of Tourism Promotion and Excellence Award in Nature Conservation by AFP.