Riffat Chughtai Endeavors to Strengthen Pak-US Ties

Riffat Chughtai has been a member of the Pittsburgh Pakistani-American community since 1981. She has served not only the Muslim community in different capacities but also the general community of Pittsburgh. She moved from Pakistan in February 1981 to Pittsburgh along with her husband who had come here for his post-graduation in Medicine.

Riffat Chughtai graduated from Lahore College for Women, Pakistan with two majors; Psychology and English Literature and has a Master’s in Psychology from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. She is certified in Crisis Intervention and Conflict Resolution. Besides, she completed an Executive MBA certification Program in 2010

Riffat Chughtai was the first Education Secretary of MCCGP (Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh) and later served as Social Secretary, Public Relations Secretary and again as Education Secretary. She was also a co-founder of the American Muslim Council Pittsburgh Chapter [a political organization] and served that organization as Public Relations Secretary and President. She pioneered a Muslim Youth Group for the Muslim Youth of Pittsburgh organizing different events and teaching young Muslims to be the future leaders of the community.

She is also the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Muslim Family Support Services, a non-profit organization which fulfills the needs of the Muslim community as far as mental health is concerned and educates the non-Muslim professionals on the cultural and religious norms and sensitivities of American Muslims. She served as a board member of ACLU Pittsburgh chapter, is a Board member of University of Pittsburgh’s Community PARTnership Program, is a Board member and co-chair of the Advisory Council for health initiatives for diversities with Allegheny County’s Department of Health and Human Services, is a member of many interfaith dialogue groups, is a visiting lecturer at Carlow College, University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University on different topics such as Death and Dying, Living in a Pluralistic Society, Torture in Islam, to name a few. She has been a speaker at PA Business Women’s Association at their Annual Banquet. She has served as the President of Pakistan American Association of Greater Pittsburgh and keeps pushing different initiatives such as Technology in Healthcare. She was a member of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s working group on Technology in Healthcare and chaired the sub-committee on Disease management and coordination of care through technology.

Riffat was recognized by many Muslim and non-Muslim organizations as a community leader; PAJC (Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee), Catholic Seminary, Alzheimer’s Association of Western PA, Presbyterian Church Women’s Association, Amnesty International- Pittsburgh Chapter, ACLU, MCCGP (Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh), Muslim Physician’s Society of Pittsburgh and PACE (Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise), to mention a few.

Riffat Chughtai is working for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers) as a Practice Manager from 2009 to date. From 2000 – 2008 she worked as VP of Product Development and later as the President of Phyz Biz Inc., a healthcare technology company. Before that she worked as a Healthcare Practice Manager and Consultant.

Riffat’s strength lies in strategizing on how to improve the United States image in the world; especially in Pakistan. She has been working with the Chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-committee on South East Asia and Middle East; Senator Robert P. Casey, regarding Pakistan-American Relations and how to improve them for the last four years and in the recent past with Ambassador Marc Grossman and the State Departments Pakistan Desk Director Tim Lenderking. Riffat also helps the US Embassy in Pakistan and Ambassador Cameron Munter to develop public relations ideas to improve the positive image of the US in Pakistan

Riffat’s passion in life is to make a positive change in the lives of people globally but she also enjoys reading, world politics, oil painting and long walks.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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