Prior to joining AidData, Dr. Malik was Director of Research at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD), a research initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, where he led research-policy collaborations in the Middle East region by deploying evidence-based insights and training to improve public policies and leadership.
His own research covers several themes within international development: spatial structures of cities, transport infrastructure investments, labor markets, public service delivery, forced displacement, and gender. Dr. Malik’s broader research agenda seeks to understand how the form and function of cities, particularly the physical mobility of its residents, shapes economic outcomes at the individual and regional levels. His papers have appeared in leading academic journals, including Environmental Modelling and Software, Science and Public Policy, Journal of Transport Geography and the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.
He has won over a dozen competitive research grants totaling over $2.8 million from leading institutions such as the World Bank, Hewlett Foundation, Canada’s IDRC, UK’s DFID, US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, Germany’s GIZ and the International Growth Centre. His paper exploring the gendered impacts of environmental degradation on urban women in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh won the 2019 Best Paper Award for Comparative Public Policy by the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM). His research on the impact of gender based violence in urban public transit won the World Bank and Sexual Violence Research Initiative’s 2017 Development Marketplace Innovation Award.
Previously, he was Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute in Washington DC, where he conceived, fund-raised for and led research programs on women’s economic empowerment and growth, the policy implications of forced displacement, and urban resilience building. A former corporate banker at Standard Chartered, he has advised Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, International Food Policy Research Institute, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, US Agency for International Development, UNESCO and the World Bank.
He holds several affiliations including Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Non-Resident Fellow at the Urban Institute, Lecturer at Boston University's Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan and Fellow at the Consortium for Development Policy Research. He has completed research projects in over 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Dr. Malik obtained his PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University, MA in Public Affairs from Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) Paris, MA in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and BSc in Economics and Mathematics from the Lahore University of Management Sciences.