As a computer scientist, Zaheda is a long time active contributor to open source and an advocate for open standards. She served as a senior technology advisor for the Office of the CTO of the UK government at the Government Digital Service, where she worked on developing policies on the selection and use of open standards, open data and open source. She co-led the open standards policy on open document formats, now used by the UK government.
Zaheda helped shape the Open Source Program Office at Google, and led efforts for Google on compliance, education, and delivering successful outreach programs like Google Summer of Code. She created the Open Standards Office for Google and represented Google on several industry standards executive boards. She was the director of open source leading internal transformation at Salesforce,. At Sun Microsystems, she was responsible for the OpenOffice.org project from its inception in 2000. There she built a thriving global community and delivered the first successful of OpenOffice. For the NetBeans Java IDE, her focus was to resolve community and governance issues and Zaheda was elected as one of three board of governors.
Zaheda consults for companies wishing to pursue open source strategies. She serves on the board of directors of the Mifos Initiative, an open source effort that is positioning financial institutions to become digitally connected providers of financial services to the poor. She speaks internationally on topics related to open source. She is passionate about education, open source, and the positive impact of collaboration for social good.
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