Former Google executive returns to Digital Pakistan project

Former Google executive Tania Aidrus, who previously spearheaded the Digital Pakistan initiative in December 2019 under ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration, has once again joined the federal government’s digitization efforts. This return comes with the approval of the current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Aidrus, who formerly served as Chief of Staff and Head of Strategic Initiatives on the Next Billion Users (NBU) team at the US tech giant, has been appointed as the “convener” of the Digital Pakistan committee, as per a notification issued by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication. According to the ministry, the committee will be chaired by the federal state minister for IT, with the IT ministry secretary also included in the team.

The committee would compile recommendations for the country’s ambitious project pursuing digitisation infrastructure in various sectors in line with the modern technologies and innovations, besides ensuring transparency and ease in government processes.

Aidrus spent more than half her life outside Pakistan, studying at the world’s best schools and working at the forefront of the global tech industry before being approached by the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) administration aiming to uplift government processes matching the global standards of the digital age.

She holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a BSc from Brandeis University.

Prior to her appointment as a Google executive, Tania co-founded a mobile health diagnosis company called ClickDiagnostics which connected rural patients in emerging markets to doctors around the world.

The tech expert was also inducted into the federal cabinet led by ex-PM Khan in 2019 as special assistant to the prime minister, however, she faced an unceremonious exit from the PM’s House in July 2022 due to her Canadian nationality which she mentioned in her resignation and a post on X.

Some reports also suggested that one more reason for her departure was establishing a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which also sparked a debate on conflict of interest


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