Usama Salamat hails from the Muzaffargarh district in Punjab and obtained his early education in Karachi. He completed his undergraduate in Economics from the University of Essex, where he achieved academic distinctions throughout the course and was included on the Dean’s List of Excellence for three consecutive years. Alongside his studies, he played an active role in numerous extra-curricular and sporting activities. Usama served as the President of the Pakistani Students Association for two years in a row, overseeing and supporting hundreds of current and prospective students in the UK and Pakistan. Within this role, he collaborated with The Pakistani Foundation (TPF) and the Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) in organising various events, boosting the image of Pakistan abroad. He has also been a devoted sportsperson throughout. He captained the University of Essex Cricket Team (UECC) and was nominated as the UECC President in his final year. Usama received the Full Colours Award for his outstanding contribution to Essex Sport, as well as the Most Active Society Award for his efforts within the Pakistani Students Association. He also appeared in several media interviews and debates regarding the equality of opportunities in sports. Committed to giving back to his home country and dedicated to matters on development policy reforms, Usama has previously worked on Pakistan’s justice system with Reprieve International. He worked on issues relating to policy advocacy, climate change, and inequality in the rural areas of Punjab with human rights clinics. Going forward, as one of the five inaugural OPP Scholars, he is eager to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic growth of Pakistan.
Through his MPhil degree in Development Studies at the University of Oxford, Usama will be researching on the emerging dynamics of climate change policies, and its implications on Pakistan’s industries. He intends to pursue a professional career in this area, especially on the relationship between environmental policies and human rights.