Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman
Economist and social thinker Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman is a leading policy voice of Bangladesh with over three decades of experience within and outside government. Holding a masters in economics from Dhaka University, and PhD in political sociology from the University of Manchester, UK, Dr Rahman was a leading researcher at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies between 1977 and 2000, and led the internationally renowned Analysis of Poverty Trends project (1989-98). In 1996, he founded the think tank Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and has been its executive chairman since 2000. He was the lead consultant for the preparation of the first poverty reduction strategy paper, Unlocking the Potential, 2005, of the Government of Bangladesh and was a member of the SAARC Poverty Commission. Dr Rahman has also sat on the board of the central bank.
He authored and edited many influential publications on poverty, social protection, governance, urbanisation, inclusive growth, social development and sustainable healthcare. Some of his noted works include Rethinking Rural Poverty (SAGE, 1995); Local Governance and Community Capacities (UPL, 2002); Unbundling Governance (PPRC, 2007); Researching Poverty from the Bottom up (PPRC/Grameen Trust, 2007); Bangladesh 2030: Strategy for Accelerating Inclusive Growth (DCCI/PPRC, 2010); Bangladesh Urban Dynamics (PPRC/World Bank, 2012); Bangladesh: Primary Education Stipends (PPRC/UNICEF, 2013); Social Protection in Bangladesh (UPL, 2014); Road Safety in Bangladesh (PPRC/BRAC, 2014); Realizing UHC Goals: Challenges & Opportunities for Bangladesh (PPRC, 2016); The Urban Spectrum: Metropolitan to Mofussil (PPRC/BBS, 2016); Exploring a more effective pro-poor targeting approach (PPRC/USAID, 2018).
He has been a consultant to international organisations such as The World Bank, ADB, DFID, JICA, JBIC, UNDP, UNICEF, SIDA, SDC, WFP and UNFPA. As a regular resource person at the National Defense College, Dhaka, Dr Rahman lectures on nation-state system, world economic scene, national security and sustainable development. He is also the convener of civic platforms such as Health Bangladesh, and Safe Roads and Transport for All (SROTA).
On 9 January 2008, Dr Rahman was appointed as an advisor to the former caretaker government of Bangladesh and put in charge of the ministries of commerce and education. He served till the end of the tenure of this government on 6 January 2009, and was credited with a lead role in the successful return of electoral democracy to Bangladesh.
He was awarded Dr John Meyer Global Citizenship Award by the Institute for Global Leadership of Tufts University, USA, in November 2009. He became one of the three awardees of the Gold Medal Award 2013 of Rotary International Bangladesh for his services to humanity.
Adv. Syeda Rizwana Hasan
Adv Syeda Rizwana Hasan is an enrolled lawyer with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She works for the cause of environment as the Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), a reputed national NGO. Her main focus is on promoting the notion of environmental justice in Bangladesh. Ms Hasan did her masters and graduation in law from the University of Dhaka with distinction. She started her career with BELA in 1993 and till today is continuing with the same organisation. As the Chief Executive of BELA, Ms Hasan is responsible for the overall coordination of the activities of BELA, including research, awareness raising, public interest litigation (PIL), and advocacy. She has filed PILs on various environmental issues, most of which have received favourable orders/ judgments. She has fought against vehicular pollution, river pollution, industrial pollution, ship breaking, grabbing of wetlands, cutting of hills, unregulated mining, unplanned urbanisation, commercial shrimp cultivation, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. Her cases are redefining the current notion of development that is devoid of environmental consideration. Since she is an anthropocentric environmentalist, her efforts are adding value to conventional human rights movement by bringing in the elements of environmental justice. She places people’s legitimate rights at the center of her activism. BELA received the Global 500 Roll of Honours of the UNEP in the year 2003, and in 2007 won the Environmental Award given by the Department of Environment for popularising environmental law. Ms Hasan is a recipeint of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. She has been named as one of the 40 Environmental Heroes of the World by TIME magazine. Recognising her impassioned leadership, hard-driving skill, and uncompromising courage in the campaign of judicial activism that has demonstrated that the right to environment is nothing less than a people’s right to dignity and life, Ms Hasan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012.
Adeeb H. Khan
Adeeb H Khan qualified as a Chartered Accountant in England in 1991 and has been Senior Partner of Rahman Rahman Huq (Member Firm of KPMG International) since 2012.
He has been a Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) since 2013. He was the President of ICAB for 2017. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), perhaps the largest legal aid organisation in Bangladesh. He is serving his third term as an Executive Committee (EC) member of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), the oldest and one of the most prestigious trade chambers of Bangladesh, chairing its Taxation Sub-Committee.
Mr Khan’s past directorships include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national Flag carrier of Bangladesh, and Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited. He frequently speaks at various forums on matters connected to taxation, corporate governance, and private sector reform.
Irene Zubaida Khan is director general of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). The first woman to hold this office, she took up her position on January 1, 2012.
An international thought leader on human rights, gender, and social justice issues, Ms Khan was secretary general of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009. Prior to that, she worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various field operations. She was visiting professor at the State University of New York Law School (Buffalo) in 2011.
Irene sits on the boards of several international human rights and development organisations. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and prestigious awards, including the City of Sydney Peace Prize in 2006 for her work to end violence against women and girls. Her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, has been translated into seven languages.
Born in Bangladesh, Ms Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School.
Shafiqul Hassan is the managing director of Echo Sourcing Limited UK and Echotex Limited Bangladesh. Echotex received Bangladesh’s National Environmental Award, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka’s Environmental Award, and J Sainsbury plc’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2010. Echotex was also awarded Best Clothing Supplier in 2011 as well as Best Clothing Supplier and Supplier of the Year in 2012 by J Sainsbury plc.
Mr Hassan co-founded a premium clothing label called Ninety Percent, launched in 2018, that shares ninety percent of its distributed profits between social and environmental causes, along with the people who are involved in making the clothes. He is the co-founder of Children’s Hope, an NGO that works to educate slum children in Dhaka.
He obtained his undergraduate degree from City University, London and postgraduate degrees from Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
Dr Fawzia Rasheed
Dr Fawzia Nazli Rasheed is a programme and governance analyst. She has worked within 30 countries to evaluate and develop initiatives, national plans, and broker intergovernmental collaborations and public private partnerships. As Senior Policy Adviser at separate junctures to the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, and The Global Fund, she undertook organisational reforms and developed strategic plans. She has also supported programme development in Asia and Africa for several INGOs, including CARE International, and Médecins Sans Frontières International. She is currently Senior Advisor to the Aga Khan Development Network and a technical review panel member for AmplifyChange.
Her governance work includes conceptualising a performance-based funding system to strengthen country oversight for all programmes of The Global Fund; developing the Electoral Integrity Initiative (currently based within the Kofi Annan Foundation); and analysis of governance issues related to natural resource extraction for the Africa Progress Panel towards improved stewardship and banking reforms. As a board member/ trustee of organisations, she has drafted constitutions and deployed anonymous, transparent tools for board elections and evaluations.
Dr Rasheed has a PhD in immunology/medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Melissa Dawn Parke has over two decades of experience in international law, politics, sustainable development, humanitarian affairs, human rights and governance. She served as Minister for International Development and is a former federal member for Fremantle.
Prior to entering the Australian parliament Ms Parke served as an international lawyer with the United Nations for eight years in Kosovo, Gaza, New York and Lebanon. Following her retirement from parliament, she worked as an ‘Eminent Expert on Yemen’ for the UN Human Rights Council.
Ms Park is an ambassador for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Centre for International Justice.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in business (Curtin University) and law (University of New South Wales), and a master’s degree in public international law (Murdoch University).
Kaiser Zaman is a former representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He has been involved in humanitarian projects as the deputy or head of operations for various UNHCR missions and non-governmental organisations around the world for over 25 years which led him to work in Switzerland, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, Azerbaijan and Somalia.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr Zaman worked for Unilever and Shell Oil in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the International Rescue Committee in Bangladesh, BRAC and Capitol Headstart in Washington, D.C. He currently works as a freelance travel writer, exploring destinations such as Nepal and Tibet.
He received two MBAs, the first from the University of Karachi and the second from American University in Washington, D.C.
Fathima Dada has worked in education throughout her career. She has worked as a teacher, lecturer, university external examiner, children’s author and textbook author. Her books have sold over a million copies.
Ms Dada has held almost every level of job in the education industry - from strategy, global product management and marketing, to production and design, sales and sales strategy in the roles of MD, CEO and chairperson. She is currently the managing director of Oxford Education and chairs the Board of OxfordAQA qualifications.
She has also been involved with government and non-governmental work in policy, curriculum, assessment, qualifications and implementation. She has served on several ministerial committees and overseen education reform and policy development in several countries, including working for UNESCO to support education systems in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. She has been a council member on the Schools and Vocational Quality Assurance authority in South Africa for 10 years. She helped lead the transformation to sustainability of the education programme of BRAC in Bangladesh.
Ms Dada is on the Board of Oasis Asset Management, and has previously been an active Board member to affordable school chains ie, Omega (Ghana), Spark (South Africa),Bridge (Kenya) and Zaya (India). She is the chairperson of Africa Ignite, a non-profit working for rural community development, and a trustee of MIET, a non-profit working with children in Africa.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG
Lord Mark Malloch‐Brown is the former deputy secretary general of the United Nations. He also served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. He is active both in business and in the non-profit world, and remains deeply involved in international affairs.
Lord Malloch-Brown is a senior advisor at Eurasia, engaging with its clients on questions of political risk. He serves on several commercial boards for businesses with global markets and on the advisory boards of two international private equity funds. He also chairs Best for Britain, an advocacy group engaging in debate about Britain’s relations with the EU.
Lord Malloch-Brown served as the deputy secretary‐general and chief of staff of the UN under Kofi Annan. Prior to that, he was an administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN’s development efforts around the world. He later served as the minister of state in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and sat in Gordon Brown’s cabinet. Other positions have included vice- chairperson of George Soros’s Investment Funds, as well as Open Society Institute, vice‐president at the World Bank, and the lead international partner in a political consulting firm. He also served as the vice-chairperson of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist.
Lord Malloch-Brown is on the board of a number of non-profits including the International Crisis Group, the Open Society Foundation and the UN Foundation. He formerly chaired the Business Commission on Sustainable Development and the Royal Africa Society.
Lord Malloch-Brown is also a distinguished practitioner of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and an adjunct fellow at the Queen Elizabeth Programme at Chatham House. He was formerly a visiting distinguished fellow at the Yale Centre for the Study of Globalisation. He has a number of honorary degrees. He was knighted in 2007 for his contribution to international affairs.
He is the author of The Unfinished Global Revolution that casts an autobiographical lens on the state of the world. In 2005 Time Magazine put him on its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.