Contact Dr Iftikhar Zaidi


Dr ifti Zaidi is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Strategy at Cranfield University's School of Defence and Security and Academic Director for Cranfield University's Strategic Leadership (Export) Programme (SLP). The SLP is offered internationally through the UK Ministry of Defence and the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. Ifti is also the Course Director for the Cranfield University's Defence and Security Programme (Leadership and Management) stream as well as the fully online MSc in Leadership and Security which os part of the stream. In addition, he teaches on Cranfield University's Defence Leadership MSc and Cranfield School of Management's Executive MBA Programme.

Prior to joining Cranfield in 2014, Dr Zaidi was a Research Fellow at Durham University where he worked on the theme 'Interventions, Occupations and Insurgencies' from a Leadership and Organisational Development perspective. Ifti joined academia after a successful career in the Pakistan Army, having commanded an Artillery Regiment, Artillery Brigade, Armoured Division and an Infantry Brigade together with an operational Garrison in North Waziristan. He has also been a Directing Staff at the National Defence University, Islamabad and a Senior Instructor at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. Ifti set and led the Doctrines and Concepts Division for the Army and is accredited with 4 top-level doctrines as well a number of other publications on Strategy, Operational Art and Military Methodology.

Ifti holds a MSc in Art and Science of War (Pakistan), MSc in Global Security (UK) and a PhD in Defence and Security focusing on Leadership and Strategy from the prism of defining and pursuing victory. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice from the Higher Education Commission, England and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has a wide range of military qualifications including psc (Quetta) and afwc (Armed Forces War Course, NDU Pakistan).

Dr Zaidi has lectured widely at academic and professional forums, for example, Durham University and Oxford University, UK; Madrid-Helsinki University, Spain; Sigmund Freud University, Austria; National Defence University of Malaysia; all single services War Colleges in Nigeria; National Defence College Nigeria; Armed Forces War College and Staff College Saudi Arabia; Command and Staff Colleges / equivalents in Chile, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Ireland, among others. He has also offered the Strategic Leadership Programs on behalf of the UK MOD in Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico, Caribbean, Thailand, Ukraine, Chile, Paraguay, Columbia, Cyprus, Albania, Bosnia, Oman, Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan. His research interests include: cross-cultural leadership, leadership and the management of change, strategic leadership, contemporary innovations in leadership development, ethical leadership, toxic leadership, leadership as a relationship and the constructs that underpin that relationship, nature and role of communication, and research methods.

Research opportunities





Security Sector Reform

Strategic Communication

Current activities

Research Interests:

Strategy and Strategic Management


Communication and Influence

Change and Innovation


Articles In Journals