Leadership: Executive Body
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury
Vice-Chairperson and Interim Executive Director, BRAC
Dr Chowdhury is the vice-chairperson and interim executive director of BRAC. He is also the advisor to the founder and chairperson. Previously, he was the deputy executive director of BRAC, the founding director of the research and evaluation division and the founding dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University.
He is also a professor of population and family health at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York. During 2009-2012, he worked as a senior advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation, based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also served as a MacArthur Fellow at Harvard University.
Dr Chowdhury is a founder of the Bangladesh Education Watch and Bangladesh Health Watch, two civil society watch-dogs on education and health respectively. He is on the board and committees of several organisations and initiatives, including the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Sustainable International Development at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Chowdhury was a coordinator of the UN Millennium Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health, set up by the former Secretary General Kofi Annan.
He is a co-recipient of the ‘Innovator of the Year 2006’ award from the Marriott Business School of Brigham Young University in USA. He also received the PESON oration medal from the Perinatal Society of Nepal in 2008. He has a wide interest in development, particularly in the areas of education, public health, poverty eradication and environment. Dr Chowdhury has published books and more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed international journals including the International Journal on Education, the Lancet, the Social Science & Medicine, the Scientific American and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr Chowdhury holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Dhaka.
Advisor to the Interim Executive Director
Dr Hossain is an internationally renowned development economist. He is currently an advisor to the interim executive director on research activities in BRAC and BRAC International and responsible for the agriculture and food security programme. Prior to joining BRAC as the executive director in 2007, Dr Hossain was the head of the social sciences division and programme leader of the rainfed ecosystems programme of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. From 1989 to 1992, before joining IRRI, he worked as the director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Dr Hossain is known for his substantial contributions to research on rural development and agriculture policy in South and South-East Asia.
He is the founding member of the North South University Foundation, and a member of the BRAC University board. Dr Hossain is a member of technical review committee of the Global Fund for Agricultural and Food Security, project advisory council of the HarvestPlus Challenge Programme of CGIAR, and rice advisory board for Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
Dr Hossain obtained his master’s in economics in 1969 from Dhaka University, Bangladesh and PhD in economics in 1977 from the University of Cambridge, UK. During the course of his career, he has authored and co-authored 13 books and research monographs and contributed to more than 150 papers in refereed journals and edited books. He was awarded the first gold medal from the Bangladesh Agricultural Economist Association in 1985 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to understanding the operation of the rural economy in Bangladesh. He is president-elect of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economics for 2011-2014.
Muhammad A (Rumee) Ali
Advisor to the Interim Executive Director
Mr Ali has served at different levels of the local and international banking sectors. He is currently an advisor to the executive director of BRAC and provides oversight of BRAC and BRAC International’s financial institutions. Previously, he was the managing director of BRAC Enterprises and Investments. Prior to joining BRAC, he served as the deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank. With his appointment as country head and general manager of ANZ Grindlays Bangladesh in March 1997, Mr Ali became the first Bangladeshi to head a major international bank in Bangladesh. In July 2000, following the takeover of ANZ Grindlays by Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Ali was appointed the CEO of the Standard Chartered Group in Bangladesh, heading both Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank. His banking experience includes stints in India, United Kingdom and Australia. Mr Ali was elected a Fellow of the Bangladesh Institute of Bankers in 2001.
He is the chairman of BRAC EPL Investments Ltd, BRAC EPL Stock Brokerage Ltd, bKash Ltd, BRAC Sajaan Exchange Ltd, BRAC IT services Ltd, BRAC Lanka Finance Ltd and also the director of several organisations, including BRAC Bank, BRACNet and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Mr Ali is a member of the global steering committee of the performance-based grants initiatives of the International Finance Corporation, and the technical advisory committee of Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh and CEOs Forum for inclusivity. He also served as a member of the governing body of PKSF and as a vice-president of Bangladesh Association of Banks and of the Employers Federation of Bangladesh.
He has received a number of awards including C R Das, Atish Dipanker and Sarajani Naidu Gold Medal for Banking in 1995, 1999 and 2009 respectively, and the ‘CEO of the Year’ award by Junior Chamber International, Bangladesh.
Mr Ali received his BA and MA in economics from the University of Dhaka.
Mr Ahmed currently serves as the executive director of BRAC International. He previously held the position of senior director at BRAC International. He is also a member of the executive management committee, the organisation’s management decision-making committee. Prior to this, he was the director of BRAC’s health programme for 10 years and played a critical role in shaping its overall health strategy and scaling up several community-based health and nutrition interventions. Before joining BRAC, Mr Ahmed worked for the health nutrition and population team of the World Bank office in Bangladesh as senior operations officer. He started his career as a research and planning officer in 1976, and then worked in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Mr Ahmed serves as a member of the working group of Bangladesh Health Watch – a civil society initiative, and a member of World Bank civil society consultative group on health, nutrition and population. Formerly, he represented the civil society for the GAVI Alliance board. Mr Ahmed completed his master’s in health sciences from Johns Hopkins University, and master’s in economics from the University of Dhaka.
S N Kairy
Chief Financial Officer
BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Kairy is the chief financial officer of BRAC and BRAC International. He is also a member of the executive management committee, the organisation’s management decision-making committee. Following the completion of his MCom in accounting from the University of Dhaka, he joined the accounts section of BRAC in April 1982.
At BRAC, he progressed through the roles of chief accountant, finance manager, head of finance, director of finance and accounts, and was appointed to his current position in May 2011.
Mr Kairy supervises the overall financial control and management over the sources and applications of funds for BRAC activities, both development and commercial. His responsibilities include ensuring effective financial control, transparency and accuracy of financial data and reporting. Mr Kairy is responsible for ensuring the effective procurement and asset management of BRAC.
He is currently serving on the board of BRAC Bank Limited and BRAC Lanka Finance Plc (Sri Lanka) as a director nominated by BRAC.
Strategy, Communications and Capacity, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Saleh is the senior director of strategy, communications and capacity for BRAC and BRAC International. Prior to joining BRAC, he was an executive director at Goldman Sachs and also worked for Glaxo Wellcome, NorTel and IBM. Upon his return to Bangladesh in 2008, he worked as a policy specialist for the UNDP-funded project access to information (a2i) programme at the prime minister’s office.
Mr Saleh is the founder of Drishtipat, a global organisation with chapters across the world focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshi people. He contributes regularly to local and international dailies.
Mr Saleh was recognised for his work by Asia Society’s Asia 21 programme in 2008, the Bangladeshi American Foundation in 2007, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA in management from NYU Stern School of Business. He is currently a mentor of the Unreasonable Institute, a member of the advisory board of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and a board member of Institute of Informatics and Development (IID). He was also named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2013.
Tamara Hasan Abed
Ms Abed joined BRAC in 2002 and is currently the senior director of BRAC Enterprises. She heads two of BRAC’s most successful social enterprises, namely, Aarong and BRAC Dairy. Ms.Abed is a member of BRAC’s executive management committee.
Ms Abed serves as director on the board of BRAC Bank Limited since April 2008. She is also a member of the board of trustees of BRAC University and the BRAC University syndicate.
Tamara is the executive trustee of Ayesha Abed Foundation and the director of BRAC Banskhali Tea Co. Ltd, BRAC Karnafuli Tea Co. Ltd, BRAC Kaiyacherra Tea Co. Ltd, BRAC Kodala Tea Co. Ltd and BRAC Services Ltd.
She started her career in 1995 as an investment banker in corporate finance at Peregrine Capital Ltd., Dhaka and then worked in Goldman Sachs in New York in Mergers and Strategic Advisory. She also worked in BRAC’s urban development programme and managed a small business of her own in the hospitality industry. She has 18 years of experience in multiple sectors including retail, finance, social enterprise, development, dairy and hospitality, both locally and internationally. Tamara is an Asia 21 Young Leader and was honoured by the World Economic Forum in 2010 as a Young Global Leader.
Ms Abed has a BSc (Economics) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School, where she graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honour society for business students.
Ahmed Najmul Hussain
Procurement, Estate and Management Services, BRAC
Road Safety, BRAC
Mr Hussain is the director of procurement, estates and management services and of road safety. A graduate of Police Staff College, UK, Mr Hussain worked in a variety of law enforcement capacities. He was the superintendent of police in seven districts, as well as the additional inspector general of Bangladesh Police and commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. Previously, he served as lieutenant to major in the Pakistan and Bangladesh armies. Mr Hussain’s previous positions include chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and the team leader of the community road safety initiatives project of World Bank.
While at BRAC, Mr Hussain has been responsible for procurement, advocacy, estate, logistics, transport, security, construction, IT systems, telecommunications, road safety and the central store.
He has received different awards, including the Good Service Badge of Bangladesh Police (1994), and the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, UK (2002).
Abul Iqbal Mohammed Monsoor
Construction and Maintenance, BRAC
Mr Monsoor is the director of construction and maintenance at BRAC. He joined the organisation in 2005 and has since been involved in constructing structures that are cost-effective, aesthetically appealing and of improved quality. Mr Monsoor has contributed immensely in formulating the BRAC Procurement Guideline and Implementation Procedure for quick purchase of construction material, in updating the maintenance manual and in developing the National Green Building Code.
During his 36-year experience in engineering practices, in national and international assignments at various capacities, he has gained commendable knowledge in building construction, modern technology, energy-efficiency, environment-friendly and cost-worthy structures, waste water and sewage treatment plants, and sustainable construction.
He was born in Shunamganj, and completed his graduation in civil engineering from BUET in 1977. He is a life member and Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh and also a member of Canadian Council of Engineers.
Community Empowerment, BRAC
Integrated Development, BRAC
Ms Minj joined BRAC in April 2009 and she is the director of Community Empowerment Programme, and Integrated Development Programme. She has obtained her Master’s degree (MSc) in Zoology and completed her postgraduate level diploma in Project Planning and Management from IDPM, Manchester University, UK. She started her career with Caritas Bangladesh as programme officer of Child Care and Orphanage Management programme from August 1987 to January 1991, after which she served as the project coordinator of Integrated Women’s Development Programme for about 12 years (January 1991-April 2002) in the same organisation.
Thereafter, she joined with CARE Bangladesh and served in different promoted positions with different capacities, such as gender advisor – Programming, Coordinator for Gender Equity and Diversity, and finally as the head of Human Resource and Gender Equity and Diversity during April 2002 - March 2009 . In between, she also served as a social worker with Camden Cross Roads, London and volunteer support to CAFOD, UK.
Ms Minj affiliated with a number of national and international level forums and networks in the field of development, gender and indigenous peoples right. She also serves as board member of several national and international development organisations and foundations.
Human Rights and Legal Aid Services, BRAC
Dr Pereira joined BRAC in September 2007 as the director of the Human Rights and Legal Aid Services programme.
She is a lawyer, a human rights activist and an author. She obtained her doctorate in International Human Rights Law in 1998 from the University of Notre Dame, USA, and completed her post-doctorate in 2002 from the National University of Ireland, Galway, as a Bank of Ireland Fellow. Prior to joining BRAC, Dr Pereira served as the director of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).
Dr Pereira, an internationally established writer has authored the book “The Fractured Scales: The Search for a Uniform Personal Code”, which was awarded a Gold Medal by the Asiatic Society. In 2006, she was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Health, Nutrition and Population Programme, BRAC
Dr Afsana has been working for BRAC, for over 21 years. Currently, she is the director of health, nutrition and population. She is a professor in James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh. Dr Afsana is an MD with an MPH from Harvard University, USA and a PhD from Edith Cowan University, Australia.
She has been awarded many prestigious awards including the Woman of Distinction Award 2011 by the NGO Committee of the Women Status, New York for her contribution to maternal health and women’s empowerment; Presidents' Prize for the best thesis on an Asian topic by Asian Studies Association of Australia; D.K. Agencies India’s award for the best Australian doctoral thesis on an Asian subject; the 2003 University Research Medal and the Faculty Research Medal for the best PhD thesis from Edith Cowan University.
Dr Afsana authored two books, Disciplining Birth: Power, Knowledge and Childbirth Practices in Bangladesh and Discoursing Birthing Care: Experiences from BRAC, Bangladesh and published articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr Afsana is the section editor of the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. She represents BRAC at national and global levels and plays a special role in policy-making, planning and technical guidance, particularly, in reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health and nutrition.
Major General (Retired) Muhammad Sahool Afzal
MG Afzal rejoined BRAC as the director of Special Projects in July 2013. He initially worked for BRAC as the director of information technology in 1998, and became the project head of BRAC University in 1999. He successfully launched the university in 2001 and was appointed as the registrar, member secretary governing board and member secretary academic council until 2007. He was also a member of BRACNET’s board of directors.
Prior to joining BRAC, MG Afzal spent his 32 year-long career in the army in command, management, operation and training positions at different levels. He was an instructor both in the Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) and the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC). He was the commandant of BMA, and as chief instructor of DSCSC, he was responsible for designing and conducting the master’s programme in defence studies. MG Afzal led the team which drafted the joint operational concept and manual for the armed forces of Bangladesh. His last appointment was as a general officer commanding (GOC) of an infantry division and area commander before voluntarily retiring in 1998.
For six years, before rejoining BRAC, MG Afzal worked as a training consultant for XENEL Industries in Saudi Arabia. He received XENEL’s Chairman Award for ‘Innovation and Positive Contribution’ for his strategy formulation, planning and implementation of training programmes.
MG Afzal graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy in 1969. He is a graduate of DSCSC, with a first class masters in defence studies. He is also a graduate of the Army War College, USA where his overall performance was assessed as ‘outstanding’ and his research paper was nominated for the highest writing award. He has also attended international defence management and telecommunication management courses in the US and Canada respectively.
Nanda Dulal Saha
Internal Audit, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Saha FCA currently holds the position of director of internal audit for BRAC and BRAC International. He also serves on the board of BRAC EPL Investments Limited, having received his nomination by BRAC in 2009. Mr Saha joined BRAC in 2007 as head of internal audit, having more than 13 years of working experience in internal control system, assurance, accounting, compliance management, risk management services, tax matters, and legal affairs.
Prior to joining BRAC, he worked with Rahman Rahman Huq, Chartered Accountants, a member firm of KPMG International, in audit and assurance services for about four and half years.
Mr Saha is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), USA and IIA Bangladesh. He is also a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), USA and ISACA Dhaka, Bangladesh Chapter. He has been nominated as Director – Membership of the ISACA Dhaka, Bangladesh Chapter for the period 2011-2013.
Chairperson's Office, BRAC
Ms Kabir joined BRAC as the director of the chairperson’s office in November 2013. Prior to this, she was responsible for coordinating the labour welfare activities of one of Bangladesh’s leading tea companies for three years. This encompassed the provision of housing, safe water, sanitation facilities, primary healthcare, health education, primary education and crèches for pre-school children.
She has worked for 17 years as a freelance writer and researcher on children’s issues in Bangladesh, principally for UNICEF, Save the Children and the Government of Bangladesh. Her writing assignments covered a wide range of topics, including child rights, child protection, adolescents, early childhood development, nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation. She drafted a number of national-level documents including the national programme of action to achieve child survival and development goals for 1990-95, the national plan of action against sexual exploitation and abuse of children, and the government of Bangladesh’s first periodic report to the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child.
Ms Kabir was the principal researcher in the consultations with children on various forms of sexual abuse and exploitation and in a qualitative study on child abuse in Bangladesh. She also acted as an advisor to a national study on child abuse and domestic violence in Turkey.
Ms Kabir started her career as a solicitor in London, working for a long-established private client firm in Lincoln’s Inn and a West End specialist media/entertainment firm, after completing a BA in law at the University of Cambridge and the Law Society’s Final Examination.
Chief People Officer
Ms Sen is a human resources professional who joined BRAC International as Chief People Officer in June 2013. She has experience working in more than fifteen countries providing strategic solutions to various organisations in the Asia Pacific region. In 2007, she established her own consulting practice in Hong Kong and Shanghai, focusing on leadership development, talent management, performance and change strategies and executive coaching, and advice on global and regional projects for companies looking to bring about change and establish leading edge HR practices.
Her prior experience includes a number of companies including HSBC in a regional HR role. She is a certified psychometric practitioner (British Psychological Society A&B level for OPQ, Saville’s WAVE and other instruments) with a keen understanding of behavioural and other management tools and techniques. She combines her expertise in HR with her interest in developmental work and has taught criminal justice and social problems related courses at the University of Hong Kong and worked closely with the refugee centre for displaced people to put up cases to UNHCR in the past.
Ms Sen is an alumnus of Presidency College Kolkata and has an MBA specialising in Human Resources from XLRI-India. She has also completed an MSc in Criminology and Human Rights from the London School of Economics.
Dr Islam is the director of BRAC’s education programme. He received his PhD in economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1985.
Prior to joining BRAC in 1987, Dr Islam was a research associate at the Centre for Integrated Rural Development for Asia and Pacific (CIRDAP), a multi-government research organisation. At BRAC, he held different positions, including the position of a senior research economist at the research and evaluation division and of a programme coordinator at the monitoring department until1995. He also worked for UNICEF in Pakistan from 1997-1998, as a consultant to the government of North-West Frontier Province on different aspects of non-formal education. He was seconded to SIDA to work for the directorate of non-formal education of the Government of Bangladesh during 2001-2002. In 2011, he was invited by the Qatar Foundation as a panelist on the 11-member international committee responsible for short-listing the recipients of the WISE Prize. Dr Islam is also the member of different inter-departmental, senior level committees that comprises of government and NGOs, including EFA country review committee.
Saieed Bakth Mozumder
Mr Mozumder serves as the director of BRAC’s Tea Estates division. He joined James Finlay & Co Ltd while studying History at Dhaka University.
Prior to joining BRAC in 2003, Mr Mozumder worked as assistant manager, divisional manager, and subsequently promoted into the office of the superintendent of James Finlay, Doloi and Noyapara Tea Companies incorporated in the U.K. He was visiting superintendent and then a general manager in National Tea Co Ltd. In 1993, Mr Mozumder was appointed as general manager of Tea Holding (Transcom Group). He was also employed by HRC Group to develop two estates under Tea, Rubber & Afforestation as general manager, and subsequently as executive director of Plantation.
Mr Mozumder was secretary of Balisera Planters’ Club, and represented the Bangladeshiyo Cha Sangshad on a variety of Boards and Committees. He was also director of the Board & Executive Committee of One Bank Ltd and was also director in the Board of National Tea Company Ltd.
Sayeda Tahya Hossain
Chief People Officer
Human Resource Division
Ms Hossain joined BRAC in December 2013 as director of the human resource division, and as of March 2014, she was appointed chief people officer. Prior to joining BRAC, she worked as the director of human resources and corporate affairs at Lafarge Surma Cement Limited.
She has more than 17 years of experience in human resource management in both corporate and development sectors of different organisations, including Citibank NA Bangladesh Limited, Unilever Bangladesh Limited, Concern Worldwide Bangladesh and Nestle Bangladesh.
Microfinance, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Abed manages BRAC’s microfinance operations, which serves more than five million clients and has total assets exceeding USD 1 billion. He also serves on the boards of BRAC Bank’s mobile financial services subsidiary, bKash, and the Delta BRAC Housing Finance Corporation. Additionally, he sits on the Microfinance Network Steering Committee and the World Economic Forum Financial Inclusion Steering Committee. Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Abed was a journalist and wrote primarily on political issues.
Mr Abed is a lawyer by training, having been made a barrister by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London, UK. He completed his undergraduate studies at Hamilton College in the United States, majoring in economics and minoring in political science.
Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC
Migration Programme, BRAC
Ms Hafiza joined BRAC in 1990 and is currently the director of the gender justice and diversity and the migration programmes. Ms Hafiza is widely recognised for her expertise in areas ranging from social communication and policy advocacy, organisational change process, human resource management and development, gender justice and empowerment, and on the rights of labour migrants. She also has expertise in the area of cross-cutting organisational development, and programme development.
She serves in a number of national and international leadership roles, for example as an advisor to the UN secretary general on the Peace Building Fund; member of the civil society advisory group of UN Women, Bangladesh; member of the governing body of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC); a trustee board member of the government’s national women and children development implementation and evaluation committee.
Ms Hafiza received the Communication for Sustainable Social Change Award in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA for her groundbreaking work on sustainable social communication on extreme poverty and public health challenges like TB. She was also awarded for her contribution in gender work in 2007 and on human development management in 2008. She co-authored the BRAC technical manual and has also facilitated numerous seminars, workshops, and lectures related to organisational culture and development, ethical fitness, public policy, VAWG, rights of migrants, institution-level management and leadership courses nationally and internationally. She has been published in several national dailies, magazines and books on organisational development, gender and rights.
Ms Hafiza obtained an MA in intercultural and international management as well as a post-graduate diploma in NGO leadership and management from SIT Graduate Institute, USA. She also completed an MA with honours in public administration from the University of Dhaka.
Finance, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Rahman is the director of finance for BRAC and BRAC International. He obtained his bachelors of business administration in accounting from Boise State University. He is also a licensed CPA (certified public accountant) since 1999. He started his career in finance and accounting in 1995 while working as an intern in the accounting department in Morrison Knudsen Corporation (now URS Corporation). After his graduation, he worked as a full-time accountant in the same organisation and received a certificate of appreciation. After passing his uniform certified public accounting examination and completing four years of service, he was promoted to senior accountant.
Later and throughout his 15-year career in the financial management and reporting arena in the USA, he also worked in various capacities, as the divisional controller for HBG (Hollandsche Beton Groep) Royal BAM, assistant controller for Mitchell engineering, and senior project accounting manager for Bovis Lend Lease. Before joining BRAC in 2009, he worked as the controller for Allied Container System, a defence contractor for the US Army and the Navy.
He was ranked 165 in the world per ITF (International Tennis Federation) 1986 Junior Tennis Ranking. He brought trophies for Bangladesh from Brunei Darussalam and Sri Lanka while representing Bangladesh internationally. He was offered a full tennis scholarship to attend Boise State University and he competed in divisional tennis with various universities in the USA representing his university.
Mr Rahman is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).