Together to make a difference
When Nazmul migrated to Oman to find a more secure future for his family, he never imagined he too would fall prey to fraudulent middlemen. Nazmul found himself on the streets and without a job when he reached Oman. It took him a few months before he could find work as a cleaner. Out of stress and physical exhaustion, Nazmul suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital. His employer refused to cover the costs of his treatment. When Nazmul finally came back home, he was paralysed and unable to speak, with no money for his own treatment or his family. Migrant workers sometimes suffer great injustices that affect them physically and psychologically. BRAC’s project with UN Women aims to provide socioeconomic reintegration support for returnee migrant workers. Through this successful partnership, Nazmul received a grant to fund his treatment costs so he could start afresh.
3.9 million women graduated from our human rights and legal education classes.
Legal aid clinics received 231,464 legal complaints.
"My name is Afroza Akhter. I am from Gaibandha, a rural district in northern Bangladesh. My late husband had left behind a piece of land that he purchased about four years ago. After his death the three owners took possession of the land illegally.
My two sons and I could not afford to file a lawsuit against them. A teacher at a nearby school came to know about my crisis, and told me about an initiative that provides free legal assistance on land-related issues. Upon her suggestion, I visited BRAC’s legal aid clinic and learned about the property rights initiative. I did not know something like this existed. I immediately filed a complaint. BRAC representatives issued a request to the owners asking them to visit the legal aid clinic to resolve the matter. When they did not respond, BRAC’s panel lawyer on my request, filed a case.
Despite the court ruling the case in my favour, I could not take possession of the land. The owners resorted to using their political connections and threatened us. Our lawyer filed another suit asking for execution of the court order. Finally, the police, along with government authorities, intervened and recovered the land from them.
I now farm on this land and am able to make a living. Sometimes I cannot help but feel anxious, but then I remind myself that along with legal support, I also have support from my community. And I feel more assured."
We have distrubuted 22 million metric tons of high yield seeds to the farmers till 2014.
4.8 million people got access to microfinace loan in 2014.
“When the programme organiser from BRAC asked us about how we can improve the lives of the people of our locality, it made us think in a way we have never done before.”
Daw Khin Aye Mu lives with her three daughters and a son in Bago, Myanmar. She has a home-based bakery business. Assisted by her oldest daughter, she bakes cakes and bread. She would earn about USD 4 (Kyats 4,000) per day. She struggled raising her children. “Before BRAC started its work in my community, there were no other microfinance providers. I heard about BRAC’s microfinance programme from a neighbour.” Daw Khin joined the microfinance group in her area following several discussions with the programme organiser. She began to attend the village organisation meetings.
Daw Khin took her first loan of USD 250 (Kyats 250,000) in 2014. She bought ingredients and other material for her bakery. “I never had an idea about savings. When the programme organiser explained the importance of savings, I knew I had to be better prepared for my family’s future. The income from my bakery business now helps me live a better life.”
Daw Khin is the president of her village organisation, the association of women BRAC forms to mobilise communities in various ways. She says, “It is an important responsibility and I work hard to maintain discipline. I feel proud about my work.”
Reshma Khatun lives in Bagerhat in southern Bangladesh. Her husband, a poor farmer could only earn enough for them to get by. Their only valuable possession was a small gher (pond-like structure used for fish cultivation) where they farmed shrimp.
Reshma Khatun was selected for training from BRAC’s agriculture and food security programme. Upon receiving technical and financial support, she joined her husband in farming more varieties of fish. “I began farming different types of local carp. I used the first grant for land preparation, stocking young fish, fertiliser and fish feed.”
The couple’s earning rose when they began to sell the cultivated fish in bulk at the village market. Also trained on advanced farming techniques, Reshma and her husband took the next leap- farming rice, vegetables and sunflower. In Reshma’s words, “This allowed me to earn more money as I was using the space I had more efficiently. My relatives and neighbours say they are inspired by my success. With the training I received from BRAC, I was able to take control and secure a better life for my family.”
From 2002 to 2014,
Neela Rani was forced to marry as a child and her dream to continue education was forever gone. In 2006, after enrolling in BRAC's targeting ultra poor programme (TUP), Neela received training and land on lease so she could start her own nursery business. She went on to become a community health worker for BRAC. In 2011, people in her village urged her to run for the union council election at her hometown, and Neela won! She was appointed as the vice chairman. About her plans for the coming days, Neela says, “My son has finished his secondary school and I dream to give him the educational opportunities I was once denied. I will continue to work for my village and hope to be elected as the union council chairman!”
BRAC's TUP programme is an innovation that was created to graduate people who live for less than USD 0.60 a day.
We have 111,272 community health workers in position
Ante-natal care provided to 1.2 million mother in 2014
1.5 million adolescent girls received counselling on nutrition in 2014
13,802 ward level institutions in position to empower women in the community
332,000 adolescent girls learning about social and health issues at BRAC ADP Clubs
"My name is Shanti Debi Chakma. I live with my husband and son in a remote sub-district of Rangamati. Last year, my son Sujan suddenly developed a fever. We took him to a peripheral laboratory of BRAC located a few kilometres away. He was diagnosed with malaria. He was weak but since his condition was stable, he was released with anti-malarial medication. It was during monsoon when the only mode of transport in the region is a boat.
Soon after reaching home, my son fell unconscious. We rushed him to a government-owned health complex where we found out it was a severe case of malaria. We were advised to take him to the Rangamati district hospital immediately. It was late at night with heavy rains and no transport available except for UNDP’s water ambulance, which we could not afford. Upon learning about the crisis, BRAC’s field officer knew he had to act immediately. He called his colleague, the district manager, who then made all necessary arrangements to get Sujon admitted to the hospital in Rangamati as soon as we arrived. He also informed the only civil surgeon available and arranged for funds. We travelled in the water ambulance to Rangamati where BRAC’s district manager was waiting by the river bank with an ambulance. The treatment started immediately and after four days, Sujan was back on his feet.
Without that timely help, I don’t know what my husband and I would have done. My son’s life was saved because of the sincere actions of BRAC’s staff."
Diarrhoea was detected on Thursday (10 September) in Thanapara and Khanka Sharif area but soon it spread quickly in Paschimpara, College Road, Palashpara, Masterpara and Banierjan areas of the town. Today (till 8:30pm) 85 new patient were admitted (19 women, 60 men and 6 under-five children) to the hospital. BRAC built an extension of temporary shed to accommodate 20 more patients in addition to the one it had initially established. Number of BRAC staff including a doctor from Rangpur team is helping in the government initiatives. BRAC has donated 500 bags of IV fluid to Civil Surgeon of Gaibandha. The test report of diarrhoea is yet to be made public.
On BRAC's request, UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene team has also responded with tube-wells and water sealed latrines.
Emergency response continues in the remote chars of Jamuna/ Brahmaputra
BRAC continues its emergency response to the chars with the help of district administration and local NGOs like Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK). Today 110 tarpaulins (with 110 ropes) and 110 solar torches were distributed in the most hard-to-reach areas of Gidari and Uria unions of Fulchori sub-districts of Gaibandha. Chairmen of respective union councils were also present during the distribution process. All the 110 families were living in the open after they lost their houses in river bank erosion.
BRAC also completed distribution of cash support (BDT 500 each) among 100 flood-affected families in Roumari of Kurigram.
Planning for child friendly space
UNICEF has expressed their willingness to help BRAC with toys and materials in setting up child friendly spaces to ensure the protection of the flood affected children from possible drop out/trafficking/child labour and early marriage. BRAC is exploring the possibilities of opening more child friendly spaces with experienced partners in Gidari, Uria and Gotherhat of Fulchori and Gaibandha.
Distribution of fast growing vegetable seeds
BRAC will distribute fast growing vegetable seeds in the areas where water is receding and people are going back to their regular lives. Each of the families will get six sachets of different certified seeds of fast growing vegetables among 20,000 families.
A total of BDT 144,000 cash support has been provided in Kurigram district among 258 (70 in Ulipur, 70 in Sadar, 40 in Chilmari and 88 in Rajibpur sub-district) flood-affected families. Cash support to 112 more affected families (12 in Rajibpur and 100 in Roumari sub-district) is yet to be distributed.
BRAC's team in Sirajganj has completed emergency response work with the help of MMS, a local NGO, at Ghurjan and Umorpur unions of Chauhali sub-district. Emergency response team has distributed 200 tarpaulins (with 200 rope), 200 solar torches and a total of BDT 200,000 among 250 flood-affected families. Additional district magistrate (ADM) of Sirajganj accompanied the emergency response team in their work.
Water level of the major river systems: Brahmaputra-Jamuna, Ganges- Padma and Surma-Kushiyara have started falling, which is likely to continue in the next 72 hours. Water-borne diseases like diarrhoea has been detected in Gaibandha. More and more schools are being flooded with the breach of the embankment.
300 most affected families received cash grant of BDT 500 today with 100 families each from Chillmari, Roumari and Rajibpur sub-districts. With today's contribution, a total of 440 families in Kurigram have received support from BRAC.
BRAC field offices distributed cash support of BDT 1,000 to another 200 most vulnerable families in Hatibandha and Aditmari sub-districts. Respective upazilla nirbahi officers (UNO) were involved in the process. With today's contribution, 240 most vulnerable families of three sib-districts have (Sadar, Hatibandha and Aditmari) received support in Lalmonirhat.
Sirajganj BRAC staff called an urgent meeting with MMS, a local NGO, and took the following decisions regarding aid distribution to flood affected areas:
BRAC's Gaibandha team has decided to provide 225 tarpaulins and 100 solar torches among the water-stranded people of chars and Gaibandha Sadar after reviewing the need and the latest flood situation. BRAC team of Gaibandha with the assistance of Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK), a local NGO, will distribute 110 tarpaulins and 100 solar lights to the affected chars soon. Gaibandha team is also exploring the possibilities of setting up a few child friendly spaces in the area. The team may also go for dry food distribution where access to market and cooking facilities are limited.
On September 12, 2015 Saturday at 11.00 am, A national debate competition is going to be held in Bangla Academy Auditorium, Dhaka. Bitarka Bikash Grand Final, Debate competition is organised by BRAC, ATN Bangla and Debate for Democracy. ATN Bangla will telecast it live.
The main objective of this programme is to provide the students of rural secondary schools an opportunity to progress their presentation skill, communication skill and speaking ability as well as improve their logical thinking and self confidence.
BRAC started its involvement in the field of secondary education in 2001 by PACE (Post Primary basic and Continuing Education component of BRAC education programme) as a supplement to the government‘s effort in order to meet the target plan for the secondary school students. At first, initiative was taken for training the subject-based (Math, Science, and English) teachers. Later, it was observed that some major barriers, i.e., only training for the teachers is not sufficient to ensure an effective learning environment and students’ attendance, participation in classroom and internal examinations were not satisfactory. Students felt shy to ask questions in classroom and consult teachers for their problems and students had limited scope in school to engage themselves in co-curricular activities and in the classroom.
To address all these problems and to create a healthier learning environment in rural secondary schools, BRAC introduced Students’ Peer Mentoring Programme in 2006. Peer Mentoring programme aims to create and develop the quality of self-esteem, perceptiveness, self-discipline, attentiveness, partnering, sharing, leadership, imagination, and creativity among the students with a view to bring positive changes in the society. In this programme, some academically advanced and enthusiastic students are provided with proper advice, support and training to become Mentors. One of the core objectives of Peer Mentoring is to promote co-curricular activities among the students. In light of this objective, Students’ Mentoring has been arranging debate competition for Secondary Schools students and teachers since 2006.
Dr Muhammad Musa is the executive director of BRAC. He has an extensive background in leading humanitarian, social development, and public health organisations in international, cross-cultural settings. A medical doctor and public health specialist, he has a specialised training in maternal and child nutrition, and disaster management.
Before joining BRAC, he worked for 32 years with CARE International as one of its senior international management professionals. Twenty of those years were spent working in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Asia region.
He has long experience in strategic leadership, governing board management, executive-level management of large-scale operations, and humanitarian and social development programme management. He specialises in people management, leadership development, conflict resolution, and organisational change management. He also has a proven track record in effective external relationship management, marketing, brand-building, communications, and fundraising for humanitarian and development projects. He has been successful in bringing about convergence of philanthropic approaches and entrepreneurial methodologies to create sustainable development programming that achieves impact on a large scale.
In the professional field, Dr Musa has established a reputation for leading complex organisational change processes in multicultural settings. In addition, he is known for his unique ability to attract and develop young professionals into humanitarian and social development leaders. He is also an internationally recognised senior management trainer and an experienced coach.
Faruque Ahmed is 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.
Prior to this, Mr Ahmed was the director of BRAC’s health programme for 10 years, playing a critical role in shaping the organisation’s health strategy and scaling several community-based health and nutrition interventions.
Before joining BRAC, Mr Ahmed worked as senior operations officer in the health, nutrition and population team at the World Bank, Bangladesh.
Mr Ahmed started his career as a research and planning officer in 1976, and then worked in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He serves as a member of the working group of Bangladesh Health Watch and formerly represented civil society on 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.
Mohammad Mamdudur Rashid
Chief Financial Officer
BRAC and BRAC International
Mohammad Mamdudur Rashid is the chief financial officer of BRAC and BRAC International.
Prior to joining BRAC in 2017, he served as the additional managing director and head of wholesale banking at BRAC Bank Limited. He previously held various important roles at BRAC Bank including those of chief financial officer and strategic leadership for SME business.
Mr Rashid has been in the financial service industry for 25 years, the majority of which was spent in banking, a career that began in 1995 with Citibank-Bangladesh. His banking career spanned across Bangladesh, India and Australia. He managed a number of functional areas covering finance, operations, compliance, credit administration, HR and general services.
Prior to joining BRAC Bank, Mr Rashid served as the head of strategic planning for Citibank-Australia and New Zealand for its institutional banking business. He also held numerous other senior positions in Citibank, including that of chief operating officer of Citibank-Bangladesh during 2001-2005.
Mr Rashid completed his MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of University of Dhaka as vice chancellor’s gold medalist, and his MA in international economics and finance as a fulbright scholar from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, USA. In his multifaceted career, Mr Rashid was also a lecturer of finance at IBA, a Merchant Mariner and won the President’s Gold Medal of Marine Academy in 1985.
Strategy, Communication and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International
Asif Saleh is the senior director of strategy, communications and empowerment for BRAC and BRAC International. He oversees advocacy, information and communications technology, communications and the social innovation lab. He also leads the empowerment cluster, which includes migration, human rights and legal aid services, the urban development programme and the skills development programme.
Prior to joining BRAC in 2011, Mr Saleh was an executive director at Goldman Sachs and also worked at GlaxoWellcome, NorTel and IBM.
Upon his return to Bangladesh in 2008, he worked as a policy specialist for the UNDP-funded Access to Information Programme (A2i) at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr Saleh is the founder of Drishtipat, a global organisation with chapters across the globe focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshis. He 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 was selected to be a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013.
Mr Saleh holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA in management from NYU Stern School of Business.
He is a member of the board of director for BRAC Net and IPDC, one of the oldest financial institutions in the country. He also chairs BRAC IT Services Limited. He is a board member of multiple non-profits, such as 1 Degree Initiative, Spreeha, Institute of Informatics and Development. Mr Saleh is a member of the advisory council of the Public Interest Registry and a 2013 mentor of the Unreasonable Institute.
Tamara Hasan Abed
Tamara Hasan Abed is the senior director of BRAC Enterprises. She heads BRAC’s 16 social enterprises including Aarong, BRAC Dairy and BRAC Seed and Agro Enterprise.
Tamara is part of BRAC’s executive management committee. She is a member of the board of trustees of BRAC University and the BRAC University Syndicate. She is the executive trustee of Ayesha Abed Foundation and director of BRAC EPL Investments Limited, BRAC EPL Stock Brokerage Limited, BRAC Karnafuli Tea Company Limited, BRAC Kaiyacherra Tea Company Limited, BRAC Kodala Tea Estate, BRAC Services Limited, Bangladesh Netting Factory Limited, BRAC Industries Limited, and BRAC Environmental Enterprises Limited. She also served on the board of BRAC Bank Limited for eight years until June 2016.
Tamara started her career in 1995 as an investment banker in corporate finance at Peregrine Capital Limited, Dhaka and 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 20 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 as a Young Global Leader 2010. She received the Outstanding Women Leadership Award from the World Women Leadership Congress in 2014.
She has a BSc in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School. In 2014, she attended an executive course on transformational leadership at Said Business School in Oxford University.
Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC
Abdul Bayes joined BRAC in June 2015. Prior to this, he worked as a professor in the Department of Economics at Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka. He served in various capacities at the university, most notably as vice chancellor, 2000-2001; pro vice chancellor, 1999-2000; dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, 1994-1996; and director, Centre of Human Resources Development, 1997-1999.
Mr Bayes began his career as an assistant research officer at Bangladesh Bank in 1974. He served as the chairman of Bangladesh NGO Foundation from 2010-2014. He was also a member in the panel of economists for the fifth, sixth and seventh five-year plans constituted by the Government of Bangladesh from 1996-2015. Presently, he is a member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, Asian Society of Agricultural Economists and Bangladesh Economic Association. He is known for his substantial contributions to research on agriculture, international trade and rural development. He did his masters in economics from University of New England, Australia, and from University of Dhaka. He did his post-graduate diploma in economics from Australian National University, Australia.
Mr Bayes has more than 37 years of experience in research and consultancy with IRRI, Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, World Bank, Mott Macdonald International, Danish Embassy and the Netherlands Embassy.
Mr Bayes has authored 15 books during the course of his career. Bish Geramer Golpo and Leading Issues in Rural Development, Bangladesh Perspective are two of his most recent titles. He writes extensively in English and Bangla national dailies. At present, he is a weekly columnist at The Financial Express.
Ahmed Najmul Hussain
Road Safety, BRAC
Ahmed Najmul Hussain is the director of the administration and road safety programme. A graduate of the Police Staff College, UK, Mr Hussain has worked in a variety of law enforcement capacities. He was the superintendent of police in seven districts, as well as additional inspector general of Bangladesh Police, and commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
He previously served as lieutenant to major in the Pakistan and Bangladesh armies. Mr Hussain’s earlier positions include chairman of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and team leader of the World Bank’s community road safety initiatives project.
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 various awards, including the Good Service Badge of Bangladesh Police (1994), and the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, UK (2002).
Community Empowerment, BRAC
Integrated Development, BRAC
Gender Justice & Diversity, BRAC
Anna Minj joined BRAC in 2009 and since then has served as a director in various programmes. She is currently the director of community empowerment programme, integrated development programme and gender justice and diversity.
She started her career with Caritas Bangladesh in 1987 where she served as the programme officer of child care and orphanage management programme. She later became the project coordinator of integrated women’s development programme in the same organisation, a position which she held for 12 years and successfully managed its three phases. She completed her masters in zoology and postgraduate level diploma in project planning and management from IDPM, Manchester University, UK.
In 2002, Ms Minj joined CARE Bangladesh where she served in various positions, eventually becoming the head of human resource and gender equity and diversity. She also served as a social worker with Camden Cross Roads, London and volunteer support to CAFOD, UK.
Ms Minj is affiliated with a number of national and international level forums and networks in the field of development, gender and indigenous peoples’ rights. She serves as the executive board member of Stromme Foundation- Norway, Vice Chair of National Coalition of Indigenous People in Bangladesh, and as chair person of Bangladesh Community Radio Association.
Dr Mohamed Foysol Chowdhury
Social Innovation Lab, BRAC
Dr Mohamed Foysol Chowdhury is the director of innovations at BRAC. He also partly serves as a professor and director of research and development at BRAC University. Dr Chowdhury has passion for leading-edge science and technology innovations. In line with BRAC’s vision, his long-term desire is to exploit technological and innovative social enterprise solutions as one of the means to eradicate extreme poverty around the world.
Dr Chowdhury has extensive business development experiences for innovative technology development in the field of low-cost sensors for environmental air quality monitoring and low carbon emission energy efficient solutions. Before joining BRAC, Dr Chowdhury worked as a director of research and development projects for Cambridge CMOS Sensors (University of Cambridge (UCAM) spin-off- now part of ams AG). He has been working in collaboration with UCAM academics and researchers on technology transfers and early stage business development for more than 12 years. His career in technology and research innovations spans more for than 25 years. Previously he has held senior positions with large multi-national companies, start-ups, research and academic organisations that includes Ai4sense (founder), Cambridge University, University of Warwick, Cambridge Semiconductor Limited (UCAM spin-off), TinyVisions Limited (founder), Micron Europe Limited, LSI Logic, University of Kent, University of Essex and Marconi Defence Systems Limited.
Dr Chowdhury received his PhD in electronic systems engineering (thesis on artificial intelligence/expert systems) from University of Essex. He perused his MSc in information engineering from City University, London and BSc honours in electronic engineering from University of Essex.
Dr Chowdhury grew up in Colchester, UK, where he attended schools and college for his early education.
Dr Zulfiqar Ali
Dr Zulfiqar Ali is the director of research for BRAC International. He is currently on a secondment from the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) where he was working as a senior research fellow prior to joining BRAC International. Dr Ali has over 25 years of research experience, substantially in the areas of economics of inequality and poverty, human and social development, food security, inclusive finance, natural resources and environmental economics, and impact evaluation. Over the period, he has published extensively in both nationally and internationally accredited journals and edited volumes. He has also been involved in a number of national review missions and policy making. He recently co-edited two books, Extreme Poverty, Growth and Inequality in Bangladesh and Aiding Resilience among the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh.
Director, Asia Region
Jalaluddin Ahmed is the director for Asia Region of BRAC International. He is responsible for the development and implementation of country programmes, focusing on sector plans, resource mobilisation, and the quality of country operations.
Mr Ahmed has over 30 years of experience in the development field and has worked in several programmes including health, microfinance, education, agriculture and women’s empowerment. He joined BRAC in 1980 in the research and evaluation division and since then, has held various positions including associate director at BRAC International, associate director of BRAC’s health programme, country head of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and country representative of Afghanistan.
He is also a member of Public Health Association, Bangladesh.
Mr Ahmed completed his MSc in community health from London School of Tropical Medicine, University of London, and completed a certified programme on managing health from Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University. Prior to this, he completed his graduation and post-graduation in economics from University of Chittagong.
Advocacy for Social Change
Information and Communication Technology
Partnership Strengthening Unit
KAM Morshed leads BRAC’s advocacy, partnership, and technology teams. He facilitates BRAC’s policy engagements and stimulates technology adaptation to help reimagine BRAC’s internal processes and programme interventions. He is also responsible for fostering partnership between BRAC and the government to help expand BRAC’s impact.
Before joining BRAC in October 2015, Mr Morshed led Bangladesh’s Policy, Innovation and Communication teams at UNDP for over 10 years. In that role, he managed UNDP-government partnerships and supervised various programme interventions in the areas of ICT4D, MDGs, aid effectiveness, trade, and south-south cooperation.
Mr Morshed has contributed, in various capacities, in the formulation of a number of policies, such as the e-Payment Policy (2005), the Bangladesh ICT Policy (2005, 2010 and 2015), the PPP Policy (2010), Bangladesh Social Safety Net Policy (2015), 6th Five Year Plan (2011-2016), and the 7th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).
Mr Morshed sponsored four successful start-ups, including the country’s first GIS Data Management/BPO company (1993), the first chain supermarket (2001), and the first Business Process Reengineering Consulting House (1999).
He joined his alma mater as a teacher in 1998, teaching MIS and public/development finance. As a professor and specialist, he led and participated in several notable process reengineering projects. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, newspapers and periodicals.
Mr Morshed received both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees with honours from the Department of Finance and Banking of the University of Dhaka. His interests include innovation, behavioural insights, future casting, and social enterprises.
Health, Nutrition and Population, BRAC
Kaosar Afsana has been working at BRAC for 24 years. She is also a professor in the James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University. She is an MD with a MPH from Harvard University, and holds a PhD from Edith Cowan University, Australia. She is the author of two books; Disciplining birth: Power, Knowledge and Childbirth Practices in Bangladesh and Discoursing Birthing Care: Experience from BRAC, Bangladesh, and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and books.
Dr Afsana has received many prestigious awards, including the Presidents’ Prize for the best thesis on an Asian topic by the Asian Studies Association of Australia; DK 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 was also awarded with 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.
In 2013, BRAC’s project, manoshi, which Dr Afsana designed, received the Global Innovation Award from Save-GSK. 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.
Director, Africa Region
Lamia Rashid is the director of the Africa Region, BRAC International. She is responsible for developing and implementing country programmes, focusing on sector plans, resource mobilisation, and quality of country operations.
Previously, Ms Rashid served as the country director of Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh. Prior to this, she was the associate director of BRAC International where she led strategy formulation for the BRAC International countries, as well as large-scale country and multi-country programmes. She identified fundraising, business development and partnership opportunities for countries, regionally and globally.
Ms Rashid has worked in international development for over 22 years in several countries in Asia and Africa and in organisations including Save the Children and the World Bank. Her expertise lies in the areas of programme management, strategy development, technical support and policy analysis. She has a master’s in development studies from London School of Economics and Political Science.
Md Akramul Islam
Tuberculosis and Malaria Control, BRAC
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), BRAC
Dr Md Akramul Islam is the director of communicable diseases and water, sanitation and hygiene. He is also an adjunct professor at James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University.
Dr Islam completed his master’s in primary health care management at Mahidol University of Thailand, and PhD in international community health at University of Tokyo, Japan. He joined BRAC in 1993 and has served in various capacities since then.
Dr Islam has contributed over 40 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is a co-author of Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solution for Millions. He also wrote a chapter in From one to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low Income Countries.
Dr Islam served as a technical consultant to the International Union against TB and Lung Disease for South East Asia Region from 2009-2010. He was a technical advisory group (STAG) member of WHO on TB in Geneva from 2013-2015. He now serves as chair for the Working Group on Evidence-based Research on Tobacco Control at the International Union against TB and Lung Disease. He is also a member of Technical Working Group of WHO SEARO.
Dr Islam was nominated for the Global Development Network award from the World Bank in 2002 for his PhD research on cost-effectiveness on TB control programme in Bangladesh. In 2008, the International Union against TB and Lung Disease South East Asian Region recognised him for his leadership in public-private partnership model on TB control.
Dr Islam was a visiting lecturer at the University of Tokyo from 2002-2005, and at Harvard University from 2008-2009.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman
Dairy and Food Enterprise, BRAC
Mohammad Anisur Rahman joined BRAC in October 2016 as director of dairy and food enterprises. Prior to joining BRAC, he was working as chief operating officer of PRAN Dairy Limited. He has also worked for Rahimafrooz Gastech Limited, AC Nielsen Bangladesh Limited and United Nations Mission in Georgia. He has over 20 years of experience in business development strategy.
Mr Rahman brings with him a wealth of leadership experience, especially in the areas of marketing, sales, customer care, supply chain, human resources, production, and research and analytical skills. He completed his MBA from MIST, Dhaka University and obtained special training from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
Mr Rahman specialises in orchestrating large projects, start-ups, turnarounds and growth ventures. He is driven to improve the bottom line, while ensuring staff compliance to business policies and procedures. He received special accolade for turning around PRAN’s losing business concern and transforming it into a leading profitable venture in less than four years.
Mr Rahman has special interests in business research and writing, movies and golfing.
Chief People Officer
Munmun Salma Chowdhury is the chief people officer of BRAC International. Before joining BRAC, she was the global HR generalist in CARE USA (based in Bangladesh), covering 13 countries in Asia and the Middle East. She led the HR network of CARE in Asia and the Middle East, developed policy guidelines for an empowered and equitable workforce, and led the female leadership programme of CARE in Asia. Prior to that, she was the regional human resources business partner for Asia at CARE USA.
Prior to that, Ms Chowdhury served as the general manager of HRD, programme coordinator of education, and held several other positions at CARE Bangladesh. She also worked for Unity for Social and Human Action and the Association for Development Agencies of Bangladesh. Ms Chowdhury holds a master’s and PhD in psychology from the University of Dhaka.
Nanda Dulal Saha
Internal Audit, BRAC and BRAC International
Nanda Dulal Saha FCA is the director of internal audit for BRAC and BRAC International. He also served on the board of BRAC EPL Investments Limited from 2009 to 2014. He joined BRAC in 2007 as the head of internal audit. He has over 14 years of experience in internal control system, assurance, accounting, finance, compliance, risk management , tax matters, and legal affairs.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Saha worked in audit and assurance services with Rahman Rahman Huq, Chartered Accountants, a member firm of KPMG International.
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 served as director– membership of the ISACA Dhaka, Bangladesh Chapter for the period 2011-2015. He is currently a member of the Technical and Research of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh.
Chairperson's Office, BRAC
Rachel Kabir joined BRAC as the director of the chairperson’s office in 2013. She is also secretary to the BRAC Governing Body and Stichting BRAC International Governing Board and is in charge of the internship and visitors’ units. 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 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 (for solicitors).
Dr Safiqul 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 has held various positions, including that of senior research economist in the research and evaluation division and of programme coordinator at the monitoring department until 1995.
Dr Islam also worked for UNICEF in Pakistan from 1997-1998, as a consultant to the government of North-West Frontier Province on various 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 a member of different inter-departmental, senior-level committees comprising government and NGOs, including the EFA country review committee.
Saieed Bakth Mozumder
Tea Estates, BRAC
Saieed Bakth Mozumder serves as the director of BRAC’s tea estates division. He joined James Finlay Limited while studying history at the University of Dhaka. Prior to joining BRAC in 2003, Mr Mozumder worked as assistant manager, divisional manager, and was subsequently promoted into the office of superintendent at James Finlay, Doloi and Noyapara Tea Companies incorporated in the UK. He was visiting superintendent and then the general manager in National Tea Company Limited.
In 1993, Mr Mozumder was appointed as general manager of Tea Holding of Transcom Group. He was also employed by HRC Group to develop two estates under tea, rubber and afforestation as general manager, and subsequently as executive director of plantation.
Mr Mozumder was the secretary of Balisera Planters’ Club, and represented the Bangladeshiyo Cha Shangshad on a variety of boards and committees. He was also the director of the board and executive committee of One Bank Limited, and a director in the board of National Tea Company Limited.
Saif Md Imran Siddique
Finance, BRAC International
Saif Md Imran Siddique joined BRAC in January 2016 as the director of finance for BRAC International. Previously, he worked as the assistant vice president in Total Access Communication PCL (DTAC) in Bangkok, Thailand, under the Financial Planning and Analysis Division. Prior to that, he was the head of financial planning and budgeting at Robi Axiata Ltd in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
He began his career at Grameenphone Limited in 2001. After a brief study break, he joined Grameenphone again in 2004 and worked for nine years, where he served last as the general manager and head of business performance reporting.
Mr Saif brings with him a wealth of leadership and managerial experience in the telecommunications sector, especially in the areas of strategic financial management and cost efficiency initiatives, business planning, dynamic forecasting, business performance analysis, financial statements and management reporting. He holds an MBA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, and a BBA from North South University, Dhaka.
Sayeda Tahya Hossain
Chief People Officer
Human Resources Division, BRAC
Learning Division, BRAC
Sayeda Tahya Hossain joined BRAC in December 2013 as the chief people officer, leading the human resources and learning division. She is also a member of BRAC’s executive management committee, and represents BRAC globally as a board member of the CHS Alliance in Geneva.
Ms Hossain has more than 20 years of experience in the field of human resource management in both the corporate and development sectors. Prior to joining BRAC, she worked as the director of human resources and corporate affairs at Lafarge Surma Cement Limited. She has also worked at Citibank NA, Unilever Bangladesh Limited, Concern Worldwide Bangladesh and Nestle Bangladesh.
Microfinance, BRAC and BRAC International
Shameran Abed is the director of BRAC’s microfinance and ultra poor programmes. BRAC’s microfinance programme serves more than five million clients in seven countries in Asia and Africa, and has total assets exceeding USD 1.7 billion. BRAC’s ground-breaking ultra poor programme has graduated more than 1.7 million households out of the direst forms of poverty and social deprivation and has inspired the global uptake of the ‘graduation model’ to tackle extreme poverty.
Mr Abed also serves as the chairman of BRAC Bank’s mobile financial services subsidiary, bKash, and is on the boards of IPDC Finance Limited and Guardian Life Insurance Limited. Additionally, he is a member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group and sits on the Microfinance Network Steering Committee and the World Economic Forum Financial Inclusion Steering Committee.
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.
BRAC and BRAC International
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG
Founder and Chairperson, BRAC
Sir Fazle was born in 1936 in Bangladesh. He studied Accountancy in London, qualifying as a Cost Management Accountant in 1962. While he was working as a senior corporate executive at Shell Oil, the 1970 cyclone and 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh dramatically changed the direction of his life. He left his job and moved to London, where he helped initiate Action Bangladesh and HELP Bangladesh in support of the Liberation War.
Early in 1972, after the war was over, he returned to the newly-independent Bangladesh, finding the economy in ruins. The return of 10 million refugees, who had sought shelter in India during the war, called for urgent relief and rehabilitation efforts. Sir Fazle established BRAC to address the needs of refugees in a remote area of north-eastern Bangladesh, guided by a desire to help the poor develop their own capacity to better manage their lives.
Today BRAC is one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating across eleven countries in Africa and Asia. Its primary objectives are to alleviate poverty and empower the poor. BRAC was ranked first by Geneva-based 'NGO Advisor' in 2017 in terms of impact, innovation and sustainability.
Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award, South Asia Region (2016), Thomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health (2016), World Food Prize (2015), Trust Women Hero Award (2014), Spanish Order of Civil Merit (2014), Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal (2014), CEU Open Society Prize (2013), Inaugural WISE Prize for Education (2011), Entrepreneur for the World Award (2009), David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) Award for lifetime achievement in social development and poverty alleviation (2007), UNDP Mahbubul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development (2004), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award (2003), Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurship Award (2003), Olof Palme Prize (2001), InterAction Humanitarian Award (1998) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980).
He is also recognised by Ashoka as one of the 'global greats' and is a founding member of its prestigious Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally. Sir Fazle was a member of the Group of Eminent Persons appointed by the UN Secretary-General in 2010 to advise on support for the Least Developed Countries. In both 2014 and 2017, he was named in Fortune Magazine’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury
Vice-Chairperson, BRAC and
Advisor to the Chairperson
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury is an advisor to the chairperson and founder of BRAC. 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 served as a senior advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation, based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also worked as a MacArthur/Bell Fellow at Harvard University.
Dr Chowdhury is one of the founding members of the Bangladesh Education Watch and Bangladesh Health Watch, two civil society watchdogs on education and health respectively. He is on the board and committees of several organisations and initiatives, including the Advisory Board of the South Asia Centre at London School of Economics, Lead Group for Scaling Up Nutrition Movement at United Nations and is the current chair of the Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH). 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 recipient of the ‘Innovator of the Year 2006’ award from the Marriott Business School of Brigham Young University in USA, the PESON oration medal from the Perinatal Society of Nepal in 2008 and Outstanding Leadership Award from Dhaka University Statistics Department Alumni Association. He has a wide interest in development, particularly in the areas of education, public health, poverty eradication and environment. Dr Chowdhury has published several books and over 150 articles in peer-reviewed international journals.
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.
Taharunnesa Abdullah is an advisor to Democracywatch and also serves as the chairperson of Gono Bishwabidyalay and ASA. She started her career at the Comilla Academy for Rural Development and headed the women’s education and home development programme. She oversaw the development of the National Plan of Action for Children 1997-2002, and has served as chair of Bangladesh Shishu Academy and Bangladesh Jatiya Mohila Sangstha.
Latifur Rahman is the chairman and CEO of Transcom Group. Currently he is the chairman of Nestlé Bangladesh, Holcim Cement (Bangladesh) and National Housing Finance and Investments. Mr Rahman holds the position of vice president of the International Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh. He has also been elected as a member of the executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Formerly the president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, he is an erstwhile President of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation. Mr Rahman was chairman of the Trade Body Reforms Committee and a member of Bangladesh Better Business Forum. He was a member of the executive board of Bangladesh Bank (Central Bank). Mr Rahman is an Honouree of the Oslo Business for Peace Award in 2012, and was named Business Executive of the Year in 2001 by the American Chamber in Bangladesh.
Rokia Afzal Rahman
Rokia Afzal Rahman currently chairs Arlinks Group of Companies and RR Group of Companies. She is the chair of Mediaworld Ltd, and vice president of the International Chamber of Commerce and industry, Bangladesh. As chair of MIDAS Financing Ltd, Ms Rahman has initiated loan facilities to several thousand women. Ms Rahman is a director of Mediastar and ABC Radio. She was a director of Reliance Insurance and is a former president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Ms Rahman was previously a board member of Asian University for Women.
Luva Nahid Choudhury
Luva Nahid Choudhury is an architect who was a part of the Bangladesh Government service for 10 years and currently heads an architectural practice in Dhaka. She is the director general of Bengal Foundation, a trust that supports and promotes the arts in Bangladesh. She also heads ICE Media and Bengal Publications, both leading publishing houses.
Dr Martha Alter Chen
Dr Martha Alter Chen is a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an affiliated professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and international coordinator of Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO), a global research-policy-action network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialisation are employment, poverty and gender. Dr Chen has spent two decades in Bangladesh and India working for BRAC and Oxfam America.
Adeeb H Khan
Adeeb H Khan is a chartered accountant and the senior partner of Rahman Rahman Huq (member firm of KPMG International).
He is a council member (elected position) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and currently its vice president. He is also a committee member (elected position) of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), the oldest and one of the most prestigious trade chambers of Bangladesh.
Adeeb’s past directorships include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier of Bangladesh.
Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan
Adv Syeda Rizwana Hasan is an enrolled lawyer with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She works on environmental issues 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 master’s and graduation in law from the University of Dhaka with distinction. She started her career with BELA in 1993 and is still with the organisation today.
As the chief executive of BELA, Ms Hasan is responsible for the overall coordination of Bela’s activities, which include research, awareness raising, public interest litigation (PIL) and advocacy. Ms Hasan 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, shipbreaking, 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 without regard for the environment. As an anthropocentric environmentalist, her efforts are adding value to the conventional human rights movement by bringing in the elements of environmental justice. She places people’s legitimate rights at the centre of her activism.
Ms Hasan is a recipient 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 for judicial activism which 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.
Syed S Kaiser Kabir
Syed S Kaiser Kabir is CEO and managing director of Renata Limited. He is also the chairman of Renata Agro Industries Limited, Purnava Limited and Renata Oncology Limited.
Mr Kabir is vice chairperson of the Sajida Foundation and Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries. He is also a board member of BRAC Bank.
Mr Kabir started his career as a research officer at the Institute of Economics and Statistics, University of Oxford. He moved on to serve as a consultant at the World Bank from 1991-1993. He was appointed executive director of the Sajida Foundation in 1996, and later joined BRAC-Renata Agro Industries Limited as managing director from 1997 to 2004.
Mr Kabir completed his MPhil in economics at the University of Oxford in 1989. He received his postgraduate diploma in economics (with distinction) from the University of East Anglia in 1987.
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