Salima Bhatia was appointed as the Head of the Department of Communications and Development in 2016. She is responsible for overseeing the Institute’s external and internal communications. This includes supporting all academic relations with partner institutions worldwide; engaging in academic outreach activities and representing IIS at various events and functions. In addition, Salima has oversight of the IIS website, digital policy and the management of donor relations, and is responsible for developing and implementing a communications programme that reflects the needs of the global Ismaili community.
Over the years, Salima has served in various senior leadership positions in the Ismaili community. Most recently as a member of the International Task Force for Communications and Public Relations (2016-2018) as part of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and before this as the Chairman of the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board for the UK (2009 till 2015). Working in these institutions provided her with first-hand experience and understanding of how the IIS’s brand is perceived and received by the diverse and global Ismaili community. She is also keenly aware that the Institute’s output is an asset for the Ismaili community, contributing to the knowledge, identity, pride, self- esteem and well-being of children, youth and adults across the world.
Prior to this, Salima worked as an independent Producer and Curator of Arts Programming (theatre, film and video), as well as in production and stage management for theatre, film shoots and live events for over ten years. Her background in theatre and film enables her to convey messages creatively and effectively through the art of visual storytelling. Whilst her years of multi-media experience enables the Institute to penetrate global audiences in a more creative, targeted and purposive way.
Salima is an alumna of the IIS’ Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (Class of 1999). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Roehampton Institute (1995) and an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (1999). Her Masters dissertation focused on a study and analysis into the cultural identity formation of the Ismailis in Gorno-Badakhshan, A New Locus on the Landscape of an Imagined Trans-national Community, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.