Shaheen Rushd was born in Chittagong, Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and came to the United States in 1970 when her father was stationed in Washington, D.C., as a diplomat. When her parents returned to the newly independent Bangladesh, Shaheen remained in the United States to complete high school and went on to attend Kalamazoo College in Michigan (magna cum laude) and New York Law School in Manhattan (summa cum laude). For almost thirty years—twenty years as a partner—Shaheen practiced at Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman and Gross (now Pomerantz LLP), a Manhattan law firm that specializes in securities litigation. Upon retirement, she became involved in local social justice organizations and in the Democratic Party (served as an elected member of the Kings County Democratic County Committee).
She is on the board of directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a nonprofit which works with survivors of gender based violence in the South Asian diaspora in NYC. Previously, she served on the board of trustees of Kalamazoo College; the board of directors of New York Appleseed; the Advisory Committee of Muslims in Brooklyn Project for the Brooklyn Historical Society (now Center for Brooklyn History); and the New York Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch. She was a member of the inaugural Spark Prize Committee. Shaheen is bilingual (English and Bangla). Shaheen has lived in Brooklyn since 1981. She joined Brooklyn Org’s Board of Directors in May 2023.