Reyahd D.J. Kazmi is the owner of Kazmi Advisors, LLC, a national consulting firm dedicated to providing strategic advising, government strategy, relationship management, advocacy, and community engagement to both private and public sector clients resulting in their collective growth of over $50M+ of new revenue in the last three years. Also, Mr. Kazmi is a Managing Director of IGNITE Cities, LLC (IGNITE), a global consulting firm that assists government and the private sector on smart city strategy alignment, architecture, and digital transformation, leading and executing multiple projects and initiatives stateside and abroad. In addition, Mr. Kazmi is the Chief Advocacy & Government Strategies Officer for National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP), one of the country’s largest providers of therapeutic foster care, restorative justice, and community-based programming, where he oversees the organization’s: advocacy initiatives and government outreach at the municipal, state, and federal level; partnership development; over 150 contracts with private and public sector partners; and growth which helped increase NYAP's revenues by over 300%. Concurrently, Mr. Kazmi is an instructor in the Certificate for Nonprofit Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where he teaches Nonprofits Today, Strategic Management, and Leadership & Governance.
Politically, Reyahd has worked on and/or advised numerous local, state and federal campaigns including the successful presidential campaigns of Obama for America, and most recently, Biden for President.
Prior to his recent work, Mr. Kazmi worked in the private sector for a law firm, and in the public sector for: the City of Chicago; the City of Columbus; the Ohio General Assembly; former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland; and Chaired the Ohio Commission on African American Males.
Relocating to Chicago, Mr. Kazmi served as the Chief of Staff for Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely where he managed all aspects of the office. In 2014, Mr. Kazmi was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as a Commissioner on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, where he still serves. In addition, Mr. Kazmi was appointed by the United States Commission on Civil Rights to serve as a member of its Illinois Advisory Committee. At the state level, Mr. Kazmi was appointed by Governor JB Pritzker to serve on the state’s Youth Budget Commission, was appointed by the IL General Assembly as a founding member of the state’s Taskforce on Developing Opportunities for Youth who are Jobless and Out-of-School, and serves as a member of State Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ Financial Education and Opportunities Advisory Committee.
Mr. Kazmi is an active member of City Church Chicago where he chairs its Leadership Advisory Board, is a Founding Board Member of :20 Second Timeout Foundation, is a Board Member for Mikva Challenge, and a Board Member for UCAN. In addition, Mr. Kazmi is a graduate of the Chicago Urban League and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business’ highly competitive IMPACT Leadership Development program.
Finally, Mr. Kazmi is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and Glenn School of Public Affairs where he received his Juris Doctorate and Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management. Mr. Kazmi, his wife, daughter, and their dog, Jazzy, live in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood of Chicago’s Illinois Medical District.
This commentary is intended as an addendum and recent update to the original research article published in World Affairs, “The High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Unusual Institutional Arrangement of a Non-Authoritarian, yet Controlled, Democracy”