Faran Sikandar

Faran

Placement: Controller’s Office – City Performance Auditor’s Unit

Hometown: Concord, CA

Education: BS Business Administration and BA Philosophy, UC Berkeley

Thesis: The Limit and the Fragment: Navigating Ethical Identity and Development in South Asia

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: 

– Consultant for National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center – longitudinal cohort study assessing impacts of water and sanitation interventions in the northern areas of Pakistan

– Founder, Cal Muslim Alumni Association

– Founder, Project Pakistan – plugging ex-patriots back into Pakistan and bridging the diaspora

– Member, SHAHEEN Pakistan – academic advising web portal for marginalized Pakistanis

– Member, Students for Justice in Palestine

– Member, CalSERVE – social justice organizing at UC Berkeley

Why San Francisco is important to me: 

In college, I worked as a writing and poet mentor for Youth Speaks, a literary arts organization based in the city. After growing up in the East Bay, this was my first long-term exposure to the deep history and character of the city, along with its various quirks and inequities. I fell in love with the city then and gained a real appreciation for what egalitarian progressive politics could look like, particularly in the hands of youth. Working for the city will be new for me, but I have to believe that its youth’s character can also permeate its everyday business and politics; or, it will have to.

Something unique about me: 

I spent a year and a half working between DC and all around Pakistan doing public health and economic development research for the National Institutes of Health. Due to sectarian violence, military curfew was imposed in one of the regions I was working in and I was helicoptered out. It was like one of those surreal “war torn developing country” Hollywood movie scenes (but with less blood). I initially made the decision to work in a conflict zone; but I realized uniquely in that moment the privilege I had to choose to be in a place of turmoil, while others lived that daily. In my sort of estranged wanderlust, I met politicians and (probable) terrorists, sportsmen and chefs, academics and laborers, escorts and hustlers of every kind. They all seemed to echo similar sentiments about where the country was going, and their own varying degrees of agency/helplessness over it. Now, I’m figuring out how I can bring some more everyday moralism to my life’s work which, hopefully, roots my career around conscientious change and sound dealing with people as ends – both in America and overseas.