Zainab Akhtar is a geospatial expert with a passion for using GIS and advanced technologies in the disaster risk reduction domain. She is driven by the “Geo4Good” ethos to address global challenges and promote positive change.
Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor's in Information Systems, Zainab led a Belmont Forum project, “Re-Energize DR3” at Qatar Computing Research Institute. She spearheaded the development of the patented Flood Insights system by orchestrating the geospatial and remote sensing pipelines and the dashboard development. Moreover, she was the lead author for multiple journals, book chapters, and top-tier conferences (WWW’23 and AAAI’24). The Flood Insights system proved impactful during the 2022 Pakistan flooding where the data was utilized for a World Bank-funded project. She even presented the system to UNDP, UNDPPA, and Al Jazeera AI experts, where she received commendations. As a testament to her geospatial contributions, she has also received a spotlight feature in ISPRS SC’s latest newsletter.