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, developing and implementing a communications programme that maintains the Institute’s reputation as a global reference point for academic research, education and publishing on Ismaili Studies. The work of the department 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 and digital policy, the promotion of IIS publications and organisation of an international book launch programme as well as the management of donor relations.
Prior to her role as Head of Communications at the IIS, Salima worked as an independent Producer, Production and Stage Manager and Curator of Arts Programming in theatre, film, video and live events for more than ten years. A background and education in theatre and film enables Salima to employ the art of visual storytelling to convey messages creatively and effectively. Her years of multi-media experience will assist the Institute to reach global audiences in a more creative, targeted and purposive way.
Over the years, Salima has served in various senior leadership positions in the Ismaili community - as a member of the International Task Force for Communications and Public Relations (2016-2018), 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).
Salima is an alumna of the IIS’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH class of 1999). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies and Business from the University of Roehampton (1995) and an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (1999). Her Masters dissertation focused on a study and analysis of 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.