Irum Bukhari is an officer of Pakistan Administrative Service with a career spanning 30 years. During these three decades, she has visibly demonstrated expertise and proficiency at the operational, strategic and policy level in public sector at various positions in District Administration, Provincial Government Departments and Autonomous Organizations of Federal Government.
She started her professional journey as Assistant Commissioner and Sub Divisional Magistrate Saddar, Lahore. Subsequently, she served as Additional Deputy Commissioner General and Additional District Magistrate in Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur. Prior to the promulgation of Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, she served as Additional Commissioner Bahawalpur.
Under the new governance set up, she was posted as Executive District Officer (Revenue) Bahawalpur exercising the powers of Commissioner under the Land Revenue Act. She is acknowledged as the first female Executive District Officer (Revenue) of the country. She served as Executive District Officer (Revenue) in two more districts of Punjab including Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan. She has set records of Agricultural Income Tax and Water Rate recoveries in these districts.
Her posting as District Coordination Officer, Dera Ghazi Khan earned her the distinction of being the only female officer of the country who has commanded Baluch Levy, a Para Military Force in the Provincially Administered Tribal Area of District Dera Ghazi Khan. She is also the only female civil servant of Pakistan who has led the Border Military Police.
In 2012, she was assigned the task of establishing a new administrative department for women in the province of Punjab. She served for more than three years as the founding Secretary of Women Development Department and successfully achieved set objectives to amend and initiate almost a hundred new policies, legislation, rules and procedures for socio-economic empowerment of women in the highest populated province of the country. She set a record by getting 66 laws amended from Punjab Assembly under a single Act for creating 33% mandatory positions for women in public sector decision making. She represented Pakistan at the United Nations Commission on Status of Women at New York, United States of America in 2014. Since then, she has been delivering lectures to various prestigious training institutions on women empowerment and gender mainstreaming, including NIM, SMW NSPP and Punjab Judicial Academy.
During her second tenure as Secretary Women Development Punjab, she introduced Women Hostel Authority, the first regulatory body for women’s hostels in Pakistan and launched the first digital magazine for women in public sector. In 2018 she was Pakistan’s sole representative at Arab Forum for Sustainable Development held at Lebanon by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
She has served as Secretary in Industries, Higher Education and School Education Departments. In 2019, while posted as Secretary School Education Punjab, she introduced e-leave for the largest cohort of civil employees in Pakistan.
Irum Bukhari is the only female in the country who has served as Additional Chief Secretary for Energy. In 2020 she achieved the milestone signing of tripartite Letter of Support for 100 MW solar power plant at the lowest ever tariff of US 3.7 cents per kwh. She contributed to signing of Concession Agreements for the largest 1263 MW RLNG power plant of the country at Trimmu on Take and Pay basis.
In 2020, Irum Bukhari was assigned the portfolio of Additional Chief Secretary Punjab. The first female to hold this appointment in the country’s history, she supervised launch of citizen centric mobile apps for improving service delivery and complaint resolution. She also played a key role in increasing salaries of more than 700,000 employees.
Irum Bukhari served at the National Management Wing, National School of Public Policy in 2016 as Directing Staff. She has now joined NSPP again as DG NIM Quetta.