Dr Martha Chen
Dr Martha (Marty) Chen is a lecturer in urban planning and design at the Harvard Graduate school of Design and co-founder, international coordinator emeritus and board member of the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialisation are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy.
Before joining Harvard in 1987, Dr Chen had two decades of resident work experience in Bangladesh with BRAC, and in India with Oxfam America. She co-founded and, for 20 years, led the WIEGO network which is well known worldwide for its work to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy through stronger organisations, improved statistics and research and a more favourable policy environment.
Dr Chen received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012.
Dr Chen is chair of the BRAC Global board, having earlier served on the BRAC Bangladesh board, and chair of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) board.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman
Economist and social thinker, Hossain Zillur Rahman is a leading policy voice of Bangladesh with wide-ranging experiences within and outside government. Holding a Masters in Economics (Dhaka University) and Ph.D in Political Sociology (Manchester University), Dr Rahman founded the Dhaka-based think-tank Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) in 1996 and was elected Chairperson of BRAC, Bangladesh in 2019. He led the internationally known 62-village Analysis of Poverty Trends Project at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (1989-98) and was Lead Consultant in drafting Government of Bangladesh’s poverty reduction strategy in 2004. He was appointed a member of the Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation (2003-06) and also served on the board of the central bank of Bangladesh. Dr Rahman has authored influential works such as Rethinking Rural Poverty (SAGE, 1995), Local Governance and Community Capacities (UPL, 2002); Governance and State Effectiveness in Asia (PPRC/IDS: 2006); 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). Dr Rahman was a key contributor to the adoption of a national social security strategy and remains an active policy researcher on issues of sustainable urbanization, social protection, health, inclusive growth, quality education, governance, WASH, road safety and population policies.
Dr Rahman served as Advisor (Cabinet Minister) for the ministries of Education and Commerce in the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh (2007-08) and was credited with a lead role in the subsequent return of Bangladesh to electoral democracy. He was awarded the Dr. John Meyer Global Citizenship Award by the Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University in 2009. Dr Rahman was one of the three awardees of the Gold Medal Award 2013 of Rotary International Bangladesh for his services to humanity.
Ms Ameerah Haq is a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support. She held the position of Under-Secretary-General from 2009 till her retirement and was the senior-most Bangladeshi national in the United Nations during those years. She most recently served as the Vice-Chair of the High- Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations for the UN. She has over 39 years of UN experience, including 19 years in field assignments. She was the last Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in the UN Integrated Mission in Timor- Leste. She has also held the positions of Deputy SRSG and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, as well as Deputy SRSG and UN Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan. In addition, Ms Haq has held senior positions within the UN Development Programme (UNDP)and has served as United Nations Coordinator in Malaysia and Laos.
Ms Haq currently serves on the Board for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, on the Group on Human Rights Up Front, and on the Board for the Peace Operations Training Institute, Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also a Advisor to the United Nations Foundation in Washington and a member of the Special Advisory Group of the Challenges Forum of the Folke Bernadette Academy of Sweden. Ms Haq lectures frequently at universities and speaks at seminars hosted by think tanks and non-governmental organisations.
During her service in the UN, Ms Haq was awarded the highest Presidential Medal in East Timor by President Jose Ramos Horta, the highest civilian medal of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Malalai Medal of Honor from President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, which is among the highest civilian honours given for courage and dedication. She is also the recipient of the Julia Taft Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award during the time she served as Humanitarian Coordinator for her work in Darfur, Sudan.
Ms Haq received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio in 1969. She subsequently went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Community Organization and Planning from Columbia University, New York in 1972, and a Master in Business Administration from New York University in 1974.
Ms Haq is the mother of two children, Sheehan Perera and Nadina Perera.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG
Mark Malloch-Brown is president of the Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. In his career of service, Malloch-Brown has worked to advance human rights, justice, and development in a variety of roles: serving as deputy secretary general of the United Nations under Kofi Annan; heading the United Nations Development Programme; directing external affairs at the World Bank; and working as a British government minister.
Malloch-Brown co-founded Crisis Group, which works to prevent and resolve deadly conflict. More recently he chaired Best for Britain, an organization advocating internationalism as a practical approach to global problems. He has worked with a range of private companies and has led the boards of the Royal Africa Society, the UN Foundation, and the Business Commission for Sustainable Development.
An international thought leader and advocate on human rights, gender and social justice issues, Irene Khan is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and Distinguished Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva. Ms. Khan was Secretary-General of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009, and Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) from 2012 - 2019. Prior to that, she worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various countries.
Ms Khan sits on the Boards of several international NGOs and think tanks, and has been a member of the World Bank’s Gender Advisory Council. She has received several honorary degrees and prestigious awards, including the 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.
Raymond C Offenheiser
Raymond C Offenheiser is Director of the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business, part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, where he also serves as Senior Advisor to the Dean and Distinguished Professor of the Practice providing strategic leadership to the McKenna Center’s academic, research, and public policy activities. A widely known nonprofit leader, innovator, and international development expert, Offenheiser served as President of Oxfam America for 20 years. Prior to joining Oxfam, Offenheiser represented the Ford Foundation in Bangladesh and the Andean and Southern Cone regions of South America, as well as directing programmes for the Inter-American Foundation in Brazil and Colombia.
At the 2012 G20 Summit, Offenheiser was appointed by the Obama Administration to represent civil society on the leadership council of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa. He currently is the Chair of the Board of BRAC USA and a member of the board of BRAC Global which oversees the work of all BRAC affiliated entities across the world. He is also a board member of the Oxfam America Action Fund and the Consensus Building Initiative. He also serves on the Forum for Corporate Responsibility for BHP Mining Corporation and the Development Partners Initiative. Offenheiser was a co-founder of the ONE Campaign and the Washington, DC based, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and the Food Policy Action Network. He has also served on the advisory boards of the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, the World Agricultural Forum, the Gates Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, and both Harvard and Cornell Universities.
Ken Caldwell has held a wide variety of executive and non-executive leadership roles in international development and humanitarian organisations over the past 30 years.
He has served as Global Programmes Director at Save the Children, and Executive Director of WaterAid International. He is Chair of the Board Programme Committee at Oxfam GB, and has also served as a board member of the Institute of Development Studies, as a member of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Development, and as the Founding Chair of BOND (the representative body for UK INGOs). He has worked with a wide range of leading global NGO federations, providing advice on global strategy and governance issues, and has published research on INGO governance.
Ken was elected as Chair of BRAC UK in May 2021, and joined the BRAC Global Board in June 2021.
Dr Zainab Usman
Zainab Usman is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. Her fields of expertise include institutions, economic policy, energy policy, and emerging economies in Africa. Prior to Carnegie, Usman served at the World Bank as a public sector specialist where she was concerned with social sustainability, policy reforms, natural resources management, and disruptive technologies. She has worked on these issues in Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Serbia, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan. She has also worked at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and has consulted for the Department of International Development (DfID).
Usman’s research has been published on various academic, policy, and media platforms. She is author of the book Economic Diversification in Nigeria: the Politics of Building a Post-Oil Economy, which was selected as one of the Best Books of 2022 on economics by the Financial Times. She is also co-editor of the book The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All. Usman contributed to the World Bank’s flagship report on Rethinking Power Sector Reforms in Developing Countries. Usman’s other analytical pieces have been published in the journal of African Affairs, the World Bank’s Policy Research and Working Paper Series, and as book chapters in edited volumes with Oxford University Press and James Currey. Her written and broadcast commentary has appeared in Al-Jazeera English, BBC, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Project Syndicate, and The Washington Post, among others.
Usman obtained her doctorate (DPhil) from the University of Oxford.