Ayesha Ijaz Khan was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan but moved to Saudi Arabia with her family at the age of two. Returning to Pakistan for high school, she completed her twelfth grade from the International School of Islamabad and then pursued her education in the United States, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in French from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. She further continued her studies in California and graduated with a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law. Ayesha is a member of the New York Bar and has worked for the American law firm, Sidley & Austin, as well as the Pakistani law firm, Haidermota & Co. During her legal career, Ayesha practiced primarily securitization law at Sidley & Austin and a mix of banking and corporate law, including transactions involving Islamic finance, at Haidermota & Co.
With an avid interest in writing, Ayesha wrote a fictional piece on Saudi women in 2002 that won an Economist-sponsored competition. She then decided to explore her writing interest further and her novel,
Rodeo Drive to Raja Bazaar was published in 2006. As is evident from her novel, Ayesha has a flair for accommodating expatriate viewpoints and is keen to address issues of concern to immigrants and transnational politics. Through her writing and broadcasting efforts, Ayesha has spoken vocally against the racial profiling of Muslims and Islamophobia in the post 9/11 western world, and equally argued for greater tolerance and women's rights in the Muslim world. Her socio-political commentaries have been printed in The Guardian, The World Today (Chatham House publication), New Internationalist, Ebony Magazine and CounterPunch. In addition, she has regularly contributed to nearly all English-language publications in Pakistan, including Dawn, The News, Daily Times, The Friday Times and Express Tribune. Her interviews and panel discussions have been broadcast variously, in English and Urdu, by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC), Voice of America, BBC Radio, Radio Adelaide, Swedish National Radio, as well as PTV, Dunya, Aaj, ARY, Venus and Vectone. She is also keen to work with students and has spoken at Oxford University on the Roots of Extremism (2009) as well as chaired the legal committee at the Pakistan Young Leaders Conference held at Oxford University in February 2011, discussing controversial matters such as Pakistan's blasphemy law and judicial reform. Ayesha was invited to Oxford University again in February 2012 as an expert on the legal committee at the Pakistan Future Leaders Conference, where she provided special insight on the Hudood Ordinance, as amended by the Women Protection Act, and also led the discussion on the judiciary-executive tussle in Pakistan, particularly in light of the memo-gate scandal.
Having previously lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Ayesha presently lives in London with her husband, Yusaf and twin babies, Rania Jehan and Talal Yusaf Khan.