Ishrat is a Commonwealth Scholar (2016) from Bangladesh and is currently pursuing her doctoral research in International Relations at Linacre College, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the transnational dynamics of violence in the borderlands areas. She is particularly interested in communal violence, especially among the Buddhist and Muslim population in the South Asian region. She has just completed the first leg of her field work (June-October 2018) in the Bangladesh-Myanmar borderland among the Rohingya refugees.
Before starting her DPhil at Oxford, Ishrat worked as a public information expert and political analyst. Most recently she was the Head of New Media at UNDP Bangladesh's Country Office. Prior to joining UNDP, Ishrat was the Political Advisor to the German Ambassador in Bangladesh. She has also worked for a number of development organisations and diplomatic missions in Bangladesh starting her career at the joint communications unit of British High Commission and DFID in 2009.
She received her BA and MA degree in Literature from University of Dhaka and a second MA in International Relations from the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra where she was the Endeavour scholar (2013-2013). She graduated with first-class honours from ANU in 2013 and wrote an award-winning thesis titled Shifting Ties: Effects of Burmese Foreign Policy Restructuring on Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations.
In June 2017 Ishrat represented Cumberland Lodge at the G20 Interfaith Summit in Potsdam, Germany as a participant from the Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) programme. She spoke at the Youth Interfaith Engagement panel of the Summit elaborating on the Lodge’s guiding philosophy of improving social cohesion through dialogue and deep interactions.