We were perhaps the first Indian family to settle here. We have witnessed many changes. People from many nations have settled in this welcoming community, giving it an international cultural flavor.
Zakir Bengali was born in Mumbai, India, in 1939. He obtained a Master’s of Science degree in microbiology from the University of Mumbai in 1968. Zakir earned a Ph.D. in biology at the University of Rochester in 1973. He met Kathleen there, and they were married in 1972.
In 1974, they settled in Frederick County, where Zakir joined the National Cancer Institute at Fort Detrick. In 1981, he transferred to the Extramural Program of National Institutes of Health. He retired from NIH in 2006 and joined the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Tampa, Florida, as Vice President for Research. In 2009, he retired again and returned to Frederick.
Since 1978, Zakir has been an advocate for education in Frederick County. In 1992, he chaired the Middle School Science Teaching Committee of the Board of Education, and later represented Maryland on the National Science Teaching Standards panel. He served on the Frederick County Board of Education from 2012-2016.