Dr Martha Chen
Martha (Marty) Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Founder, Emeritus International Coordinator and Senior Advisor of the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (www.wiego.org). 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, she had two decades of resident work experience in Bangladesh and in India. Dr Chen co-founded and, for twenty 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 favorable 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 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 holds international Board and Advisory positions in the commercial and not for profit sectors. He currently Co-chairs The UN Foundation and the International Crisis Group and is on the advisory committees to the heads of the IMF and UNICEF.
He served as Deputy Secretary‐General and earlier Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan. For six years before that he was Administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN's development efforts around the world. He was later Minister of State in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and sat in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cabinet. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist and then worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and was later a Vice-President of the World Bank. He has served for many years on the Board of the Open Society Foundation.
He formerly chaired the Business Commission on Sustainable Development and the Royal Africa Society. He is author of The Unfinished Global Revolution: The Limits of Nations and the Pursuit of a New Politics.
Baroness Minouche Shafik
Nemat (Minouche) Shafik is a leading economist, whose career has straddled public policy and academia. She was appointed Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science in September 2017.
She did her BA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, her MSc at the LSE and her DPhil at the University of Oxford and, by the age of 36, had become the youngest ever Vice President of the World Bank. She taught at Georgetown University and the Wharton Business School. She later served as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development from 2008 to 2011, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 2011-2014 and as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 2014-2017, where she sat on all the monetary, financial and prudential policy committees and was responsible for a balance sheet of over £500 billion.
Minouche has served on and chaired numerous boards and currently serves as a Trustee of the British Museum, the Supervisory Board of Siemens, the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and the Economy Honours Committee. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2015. In July 2020 Minouche was made a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.
Her new book ‘What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract’ will be published in March 2021.
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 leads the Pulte Institute for Global Development in its mission to promote human development and dignity among people worldwide by overseeing and developing its academic, research, and public policy activities, as well as its strategy for long-term growth. Offenheiser also identifies and cultivates critical, strategic partnerships between the Pulte Institute and companies, federal agencies, foundations, and private philanthropists. Additionally, he represents the Pulte Institute at local, national, and international events.
Offenheiser serves on the University of Notre Dame faculty as Associate Professor of the Practice and teaches graduate and undergraduate students in the Keough School of Global Affairs. Offenheiser also serves on the Keough School’s Leadership Council. His research interests and areas of expertise include poverty alleviation, human rights, United States foreign policy, and international development. He has been a frequent commentator with U.S. and international media on these and other subjects and is available to analyze, provide context, and commentary through Notre Dame’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications.
Prior to joining Notre Dame in August 2017, Offenheiser was the president of Oxfam America – a Boston-based international relief and development agency and the U.S. affiliate of Oxfam International – for over 20 years. Under his leadership, the agency grew more than eightfold and repositioned itself in the U.S. as an influential voice on international development, human rights and governance, humanitarianism, and foreign assistance.
Prior to joining Oxfam America, Offenheiser represented the Ford Foundation in Bangladesh and the Andean and Southern Cone regions of South America. He has also directed programs for the Inter-American Foundation in Brazil and Colombia, and he has worked for the Save the Children Federation in Mexico. At the 2012 G20 Summit, he was appointed by the Obama administration to represent civil society interests on the leadership council of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa.
Offenheiser has also served as honorary president of Wetlands International; he was a co-founder of the following organizations: ONE Campaign, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and the Food Policy Action Network. He has 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, Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, and Cornell University.
A 1971 graduate of Notre Dame, Offenheiser also holds a master’s degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University.
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.
Asif Saleh is the executive director of BRAC Bangladesh. He brings with him a diverse multi-sectoral experience in senior leadership roles in private, public, and non-government sectors, with a proven track record of effectively managing interfaces of development programming, operational and financial sustainability, and building effective partnerships, both within and outside BRAC.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Saleh worked as a policy specialist for the Access to Information (A2i) Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh. As part of the Government’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, he led the policy effort to expand affordable broadband connectivity across Bangladesh and devised the Government's m-governance strategy. He spent 12 years in Goldman Sachs in different fin-tech roles in New York and London ending his term there as an Executive Director. He has also worked in Glaxo Wellcome, IBM and Nortel.
Mr. Saleh is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. He is also an active member in a range of international networks and alliances advocating inclusive achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is a member of the Millions Learning International Advisory Group, Brookings Institute, a member of the advisory group of South Africa-based Innovation Edge, an institution promoting early childhood development. He is a member of the global board for Generation Unlimited, a global body of UNICEF promoting youth skills, and also a member of the global governing council of Water Resource Group 2030.
Mr Saleh chairs BRAC IT Services Limited, co-chairs BRAC Net, and is on the Board of BRAC Bank, bKash, and edotco Bangladesh Ltd. He also chairs the Institute of Informatics and Development.
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 as 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 and marketing from the Stern School of Business, New York University.
Shameran Abed is the Executive Director of BRAC International.
Shameran joined BRAC Bangladesh in 2009 and BRAC International in 2012, and has been instrumental in bringing BRAC’s flagship programmes of microfinance and ultra-poor graduation to global scale. Under his leadership, BRAC International’s microfinance portfolio has seen impressive growth and a renewed focus on client impact. Since 2016, Shameran has also led BRAC’s ultra-poor graduation work and played an instrumental role in setting up the UPGI to spearhead global advocacy and provide technical assistance to governments and other organisations.
Shameran has significant Board experience on several non-profit and corporate entities, chairing the board of bKash, BRAC Bank’s mobile financial services subsidiary and one of the world’s largest mobile money providers, and serving on the boards of several institutions including BRAC Bank, BRAC Uganda Bank, and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).
Shameran is also chairman of the Microfinance Network and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Economic Inclusion at the World Bank. Shameran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Hamilton College in the United States and is a qualified Barrister in the UK.
Tamara Hasan Abed
Tamara Hasan Abed is the Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises heading BRAC's ten social enterprises including Aarong, BRAC Dairy and BRAC Seed and Agro.
Ms Abed brings with her extensive experience in investment banking, entrepreneurship and social enterprise, with a career spanning two and a half decades. She is passionate about driving value-based business models, operating at the intersection of social good, sustainable business and inclusive growth.
Ms Abed began her career in investment banking in 1995, at Peregrine Capital Ltd, a Hong Kong based investment bank in Dhaka. Later she moved to New York and worked for Goldman Sachs in Mergers and Strategic Advisory.
She joined Aarong as the general manager for design and product development in 2002. She later took charge of its export division and established the marketing department. In 2005, she was promoted as the head of Aarong and Ayesha Abed Foundation. Under her leadership, Aarong has gone from strength to strength, celebrating 40 years in 2018 as Bangladesh’s most popular lifestyle retail chain. She has been instrumental in driving the expansion of Aarong to 22 national outlets, multiple brands, e-commerce and digital platforms.
In 2006, Ms Abed was also given charge of BRAC Dairy, and since then has built a strong team to take the dairy business to new heights. BRAC Dairy is currently the second highest dairy processor in Bangladesh with a diverse portfolio of products. In 2014, she took charge of all BRAC’s social enterprises. Ms Abed served on the board of directors of BRAC Bank for eight years from 2008 to 2016. She currently serves on the boards of IPDC Finance, BRAC EPL Investments, BRAC EPL Stock Brokerage and edotco Bangladesh.
Ms Abed was elected as Chairperson of the BRAC University Board of Trustees in 2019, of which she was a member from January 2011. She chaired the board finance committee from December 2016 to June 2019, and was a member of the BU Syndicate from March 2011 to June 2019. She currently chairs the Board of BRAC Services Limited and is the executive trustee of Ayesha Abed Foundation. She also chairs the board of BRAC Tea Estates since August 2019.
Ms Abed has represented Bangladesh globally and was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a 'Young Global Leader' in 2010. Ms Abed is an Asia 21 Young Leader. She received the Outstanding Women Leadership Award from the World Women Leadership Congress in 2014.
Ms Abed has an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, Columbia University, New York. She completed her BSC in Economics from the London School of Economics. In 2014, Ms Abed completed an executive course on Transformational Leadership at Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Chief Financial Officer
Tushar Bhowmik, Chief Financial Officer of BRAC, is an accomplished finance professional with over 20 years of progressive experience in Strategic Leadership, Financial Administration, Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control in the corporate arena of Bangladesh and UK. Mr Tushar Bhowmik is a member of Board Executive Committee of IPDC, one of the oldest financial institution of the country. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for IPDC Finance Limited, edotco (BD) Co. Limited., BRAC Services Limited and BRAC Industries Limited.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Bhowmik worked as the Regional Finance Director of Avery Dennison, South Asia. He also served Functional Head role in reputed local and multinational companies, like Zuellig Pharma Bangladesh, Rahimafrooz Storage Power Division, Transcom Group and Reckittbenckiser, UK and Bangladesh.
Mr Bhowmik is a postgraduate in Accounting from Dhaka University and a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
Syed Abdul Muntakim
Chief Finance and Risk Officer
Mr Muntakim is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 18 years of experience in the FMCG commercial and corporate financial management.
Prior to joining BRAC, he was a Commercial Finance Controller in the Global Operations function of British American Tobacco (BAT) plc. His previous roles include Senior Commercial Audit Manager, Regional Finance Manager, Europe Region and Management Accountant in BAT London, UK. He also worked as the Corporate Analysis Manager and Leaf Finance Manager for BAT in Bangladesh.
Mr Muntakim is a member (ACMA) of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) of the Association of International Certified Public Accountants, a joint accounting association of AICPA, USA, and CIMA in the UK.
Advocacy for Social Change, BRAC
Partnership Strengthening Unit, BRAC
Social Innovation Lab, BRAC
KAM Morshed leads BRAC’s advocacy, migration, partnership, social innovation lab 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.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman
Mohammad Anisur Rahman leads social enterprises of BRAC in livestock, agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and other sectors. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DBH) - the pioneer, largest and specialist Housing Finance Institution in the country. He is also member of the Board of Directors for BRAC Services Limited, BRAC Industries Limited, and Bangladesh Netting Factory Limited.
Mr Rahman has over 15 years of progressive leadership experience in managing multiple businesses with forward and backward linkages in FMCG, Food and Agro Processing. He strives to create an enabling and cohesive environment where people can sell their ideas, get empowered and drive changes. Prior to joining BRAC in October 2016, he was working as chief operating officer at PRAN, one of the largest agro-processors in Bangladesh. He also worked for other reputed organisations - Rahimafrooz, AC Nielsen Bangladesh, United Nations and Bangladesh University of Professionals.
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 value chain integration. He specialises in orchestrating large projects, start-ups, turnarounds and growth ventures. He is driven to provide strategic directions and improve the bottom line, while ensuring staff compliance to business policies and procedures.
He holds an MBA in Marketing from University of Dhaka and obtained special training from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
Mr Rahman has special interests in travelling, movies and golfing.
Global Resource Mobilisation and Partnership(GRP)
BRAC and BRAC International
Nelly Enwerem-Bromson is the Senior Director for Global Resource Mobilisation and Partnership(GRP), BRAC and BRAC International.
Ms Enwerem-Bromson is an accomplished global development leader with more than 20 years of progressive experience in fundraising, developing innovative partnerships, leading change, scaling-up projects, strategic policy development, and implementation, and delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She has years of experience in successfully managing international development programmes and mentoring high-performing teams to tackle development priorities in low and lower-middle-income countries.
Ms Enwerem-Bromson has a longstanding professional and personal commitment to human development, based on gender equality, social inclusion, protection of human rights, and support for vulnerable groups. She has served on several boards, including the Portuguese inter-ministerial panels for the Rights of Women, Ethnic Minorities, and migrant populations under Prime Minister Guterres.
Before joining BRAC, Ms Enwerem-Bromson worked at the United Nations for 18 years, 12 of which at the senior level. Ms Enwerem-Bromson served as a Director of the Technical Cooperation Department of the IAEA, heading the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). Ms Enwerem-Bromson also worked for 12 years at the World Health Organization. She was also the Adviser to the President, the Attorney-General and the Minister of State Reform and Public Administration of Portugal.
Ms Enwerem-Bromson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Political Science and African Studies from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, both in the United States.
Arinjoy Dhar is the Senior Director for Microfinance at BRAC.
Mr Dhar has diverse and extensive experience in strategy implementation, large-scale transformation, digital innovation and adaptation, process improvement initiatives, and customer experience improvement initiatives. He has a proven record of developing strong and successful teams and is passionate about talent development and frugal innovation.
Before joining BRAC, Mr Dhar worked for HSBC Hong Kong Commercial Banking as the Head of Operational Excellence. Prior to this, he worked as the COO Commercial Banking for Pearl River Delta at HSBC China. He held strategic management positions and worked for Commercial Banking teams in Hong Kong, Canada, China, and Bangladesh. He also worked for Asia Pacific Retail Banking, Global Trade and Receivable Finance, Global Insurance, Financial Control, Banking Operations, Credit Risk, Learning and Development functions. He did a short time assignment in Vietnam as Country COO and worked on initiatives in Indonesia and Thailand and attended workshops in Mexico, the UK, Canada, and India.
Mr Dhar holds a Master's Degree in Leadership Practice and Responsibility from Lancaster University and is also a Fellow Member of CIMA and CPA (Australia). He attended advanced management programmes at McGill University, the University of Cambridge, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
AFM Shahidur Rahman
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning
AFM Shahidur Rahman is the Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning at BRAC.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Rahman worked as the Director of Organisational Transition at CARE Bangladesh. He brings along over 18 years of experience in programme designing, leading strategic management change processes, managing multi-country, multi-lingual programme and project management. He also served Actionaid Bangladesh and Actionaid International for 16 years in various positions where he provided leadership to one of the largest food security networks present in 35 countries in five continents, working with more than a million people. He also led and managed Livelihoods Security and Risk Reduction sector of Actionaid in Bangladesh.
Mr Rahman pursued his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka, and Master’s in Economics from the same university.
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).
Integrated Development, BRAC
Anna Minj is the Director of BRAC Integrated Development Programme (IDP). She also works in an advisory capacity at the organisation’s social empowerment and legal protection (SELP), and with the humanitarian programme (HP) to support its protection cluster.
Anna Minj joined BRAC in 2009 and since then has served as a director in various programmes. 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.
Communications, BRAC International
Cassandra Nelson is the Director of Communications at BRAC International.
Ms Nelson brings over 20 years of experience designing and implementing communication and media campaigns for the United Nations, international NGOs and global firms. Her expertise is in developing and implementing targeted digital media and brand strategies that result in increased audience share and engagement. She has more than 15 years of field-based experience in sensitive environments, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, and the Philippines.
In her recent United Nations posting, she served as the director of strategic communications and public affairs for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). She led and coordinated the mission’s efforts to position Somalia at the forefront of the international agenda, and to mobilise the government, communities, international partners and resources in support of the peacebuilding process. Previously, she spent 12 years with the international NGO Mercy Corps as a spokesperson, creative director, and director of multimedia.
Prior to joining BRAC, she was an adjunct professor and lecturer at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Germany where she instructed and mentored government leaders, key partners and senior military officers on strategic communications, crisis response, reputation management, and human rights.
She holds a master’s degree in management of communications from University of California and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.
Human Resource, BRAC
Ms Maria Huq is the director of human resource at BRAC.
Prior to joining BRAC, Ms Huq worked as the principal human resources officer (head HR of Maharashtra and Goa) at Bharti Airtel Limited. She has more than 17 years’ experience working with various organisations such as HSBC Bangladesh, Paxar Bangladesh Limited and CEMEX Cement Bangladesh Limited.
Ms Huq completed her Master’s in business administration from Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka.
Md Akramul Islam
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Social Empowerment and Legal Protection (SELP)
Humanitarian Crisis Management
Dr Md Akramul Islam is the Director of communicable diseases, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), social empowerment and legal protection (SELP), and humanitarian crisis management programme (HCMP) at BRAC. 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.
Md Liakath Ali
Climate Change, BRAC and BRAC International
Urban Development, BRAC
Dr Md Liakath Ali is the director of the climate change programme at BRAC and BRAC International, and the urban development programme at BRAC.
Dr Ali has 32 years of working experience with various government, non-government, donor and UN agencies. He started his career with a private company in 1986, and later moved to Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) in 1988, where he worked in the capacity of assistant engineer, sub divisional engineer and executive engineer until 2008. In 2008, he joined Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) as deputy managing director (RPD and O&M) and continued there until August 2011. He joined as a climate change adaptation specialist in CDMP-II, UNDP in January 2012. In November 2012, he moved to DFID (now FCDO) Bangladesh as the adviser for climate change and environment. Subsequently he joined WaterAid Bangladesh as the director of programme and policy advocacy, and worked there till August 2019.
Over the period he acquired experience in integrated water resources management, trans-boundary water basin management, climate change adaptation and resilience building, disaster management, risk reduction, urban development, and coastal planning and implementation. He is proficient in dealing with environmental issues including impact assessment and studies and projects management. He has a sound knowledge on many key thematic areas of operation and maintenance, institutional aspects, research works, macro and micro level planning and teaching. His key qualifications also include formulation of policy, strategy development, construction, monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management approach. He has a number of publications on environmental issues as well.
Dr Ali has excellent academic attainments. Academically he is an engineer who completed his BSc in Civil Engineering in 1986, from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He did his MSc in Hydraulic Engineering (Land and Development) from the International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, The Netherlands in 1995. Later in 2002, he completed his PhD from the Wageningen University and the International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, The Netherlands.
Dr Morseda Chowdhury
Health, Nutrition and Population
Dr Morseda Chowdhury is the Director of Health, Nutrition and Population Programme (HNPP) at BRAC.
Previously, Dr Chowdhury has been leading the HNPP as the Associate Director of HNPP. During 2014-2018, she held the position of Programme Coordinator in HNPP. She joined BRAC in 2005 as a Medical Officer, and over the course she consistently grew in various roles and responsibilities within HNPP. She has been playing an instrumental role, from programme design to the implementation, especially to reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortality among the underprivileged population in Bangladesh. Since the current pandemic broke out in early 2020, she has been providing strategic leadership and hands-on guidance for BRAC COVID-19 health response.
Dr Chowdhury has successfully managed various projects with multiple partners, including the Government of Bangladesh, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK government (FCDO), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN), etc. She also co-leads the disability inclusion committee, is a member of the young professional (YP) advisory committee, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Values Award committee, grievance management committee, disaster management steering committee and programme coordination committee at BRAC.
In 2018, Dr Chowdhury earned her PhD from the School of Public Health, the University of Sydney, Australia. In her academic career, she received many prestigious awards and scholarships. Some of the key ones include Chancellor's Gold Medal, Vice Chancellor's Gold Medal, and Allan Rosenfield Best Performance Award from BRAC University, and Endeavour Postgraduate Research Scholarship from the Australian Government. In recognition of her commitment and dedication to the organisation, she received the BRAC Values Award in 2012.
Communications, Learning and Leadership Development
Moutushi Kabir joined BRAC in January 2018. She has over 18 years of international, senior leadership experience in diverse sectors namely advertising, telecommunications, tobacco and healthcare. Prior to joining BRAC, she was heading Global Leadership and Associate Communications at Sandoz International, a division of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, based in Germany.
She brings in-depth experience spanning the total spectrum of reputation management, internal communications, cultural transformation, executive communications, public relationship, crisis management, and sustainability. She has partnered with global senior leadership team members to shape their messaging and communications style, and have designed and executed multi-country employee engagement and cultural change campaigns within complex, matrix environment.
Ms. Kabir started her career in the advertising industry and has taken progressively senior roles in leading multinational companies like British American Tobacco, Telenor Bangladesh, Nokia and Novartis. She was the Regional Communications Head of Nokia Emerging Asia overseeing five countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan), the Head of Corporate Affairs of Novartis Bangladesh and the Global Head of Quality Communications of Sandoz International, for their 40 plus manufacturing sites across the world.
She completed her bachelor’s in business administration specialising in marketing from Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka and master’s in business administration specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility from University of Nottingham, UK.
Nanda Dulal Saha FCA
Internal Audit, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Nanda Dulal Saha is an experienced professional with 15 years’ of specialized work experience in areas of corporate governance, internal control, compliance, accounting, risk management and IT. He joined BRAC as head of internal audit in 2007 and continues to serve the organization as an internal audit leader. Under his leadership, the internal audit function plays an important role in providing risk-based assurance, advisory and insights to management of BRAC and BRAC International. Prior to joining BRAC, he worked for audit and assurance services with Rahman Rahman Huq, Chartered Accountants (KPMG Bangladesh).
He served on the board of BRAC EPL Investments Limited from 2009 to 2014. Mr Saha provided assurance services for Asian University for Women, BiTS, BRACNet, BRAC University and its institutes. He was board member of Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Dhaka, Bangladesh Chapter from 2012 to 2015 and Chairman of Finance, Audit and Compliance Committee of ISACA Dhaka Chapter during 2014-15. He served as a member of Quality Assurance Board, Review Committee for Best Published Accounts & Reports (RCBPR), Professional Accountant in Business, Technical and Research Committee (TRC), Information & Communication Committee, Members Services and Welfare Committee (MSWC) under ICAB.
Mr Saha was the faculty of BRAC University and is a resource person for training courses on internal audit and risk management organized by IIAB. He developed the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework of BRAC International in the Asian and African countries by providing extensive capacity building training and consultation.
At present, he serves on the board of The Institute of Internal Auditors of Bangladesh (IIAB) as the Treasurer and chairs the Standards Implementation Sub-Committee of IIAB. Besides, he is currently member of multiple committees under ICAB.
Mr Saha is closely affiliated with a number of national and international level forums and networks such as South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA, USA), The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) and has attended many training, seminars and conferences organized by these bodies in the country and abroad.
Mr Saha is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) and a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), USA and IIA Bangladesh, and also member of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), USA and member of ISACA Dhaka, Bangladesh Chapter.
Preventing Violence Against Women Initiative, BRAC
Gender Justice & Diversity, BRAC
Nobonita Chowdhury is the Director of Preventing Violence Against Women Initiative and Gender Justice & Diversity at BRAC.
Ms Chowdhury holds over two decades of outstanding experience in journalism,media and communications. Prior to joining BRAC, she was the Editor of DBC News. As a journalist, she has worked for leading electronic and print media organisations at home and abroad, including the BBC in the UK and Ekattor Television in Bangladesh. She became a household name as a presenter of radio and television talk shows and rose to nationwide prominence hosting her own primetime talk show “Rajkahon- Nobonita Chowdhuryr Shathe”. These experiences have helped her master a strong ability to identify, absorb and prioritise complex information and present it to the target audience in the most effective manner to achieve the highest possible impact.
As a member of the communications team at mobile operator Robi, she had the rare opportunity to strategize and execute the external communications for the first and biggest ever merger in Bangladesh’s telecom sector between Robi and Airtel in 2016. She had played a pivotal role in developing the messages and communication materials for UNICEF’s nationwide ‘Quality Education for All’ campaign in her early twenties as a social communication executive of Bitopi Advertising agency.
Ms Chowdhury started her career as a Sub Editor in the Daily Bhorer Kagoj, when she was only 18 after being a regular writer/contributor for few years already. After joining Ekushey Television as a researcher during her university days, she had travelled all over Bangladesh to find out real life stories from the grassroots- from Teknaf to Tetulia, Sundarbans to Chittagong Hill Tracts, including the Chars and Haors. Her travel exposure to rural Bangladesh and the world has given her an unparalleled ability to analyse and understand the obstacles and progression of various societies.
Ms Chowdhury has received the prestigious ‘Anannya Top Ten Award’ in 2017 as a leading woman of her time. She had the honour to seat as a member of the Jury Board for the ‘Nasreen Smrity Padak’ given annually by Action Aid- Bangladesh. Ms Chowdhury has been invited to speak at the Plenary Session of the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference in Addis Ababa, organised by the UNESCO in 2019.
Ms Chowdhury holds an MA in Human Rights Law from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and an LLB (Hons) from University of Dhaka.
Palash Kanti Das
Ultra-Poor Graduation, BRAC
Palash Kanti Das is the Director of Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme at BRAC.
Mr Das is a seasoned development professional with over 20 years of experience in the sector. He brings strong expertise in the fields of sustainable and inclusive development, international relations, gender equality and diversity, and general management in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining BRAC, he served as Programme Management Specialist at UN Women Bangladesh Country Office along with a tenure at Strategic Planning Unit, UN Women Headquarters in New York, USA. Previously, he also served as the Assistant Country Director and Head, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth, UNDP, and led Christian Aid UK as the Country Director in Bangladesh. He served Oxfam at the South Asia Regional Center and Oxfam Bangladesh in various leadership roles.
Mr Das holds a Master of Arts in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.
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).
Rear Admiral M Makbul Hossain
Rear Admiral M Makbul Hossain, NBP, OSP, BCGMS, ndu, psc (Retd) is the director of Operations at BRAC.
Rear Admiral Makbul is a military professional who has a very successful naval career of 38 year 5 months. During his long and colourful naval career he has served both home and abroad in military and also outside military. Rear Admiral Makbul commanded all types of Bangladesh Navy ships namely Frigate, Large Patrol Craft, Minesweeper, Patrol Craft, Fast Attack Craft’ Squadrons (both Missile and Torpedo squadrons) and also commanded all Major Bases of Bangladesh Navy. He also served the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia & Herzegovina as Chief 5 of the Sector Bihac where he earned very good name and fame for doing outstanding humanitarian aid programme and received letter of appreciation from UNPROFOR HQ. He has served as Principal of Marine Fisheries Academy on deputation under Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and raised the status of the Academy to a great extent. He also worked as Director in Naval Headquarters and Director in Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI).
As Flag Officer Rear Admiral Makbul performed the duties of Commander Chittagong Naval Area (COMCHIT), Commander Special Warfare , Diving & Salvage Command (COMSWADS) Administrative Authority Dhaka and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel). He commanded Bangladesh Coast Guard as Director General. Prior retirement he has served 4 years in Naval Headquarters as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) who had 13 directorates under his direct control.
Along with his military professional career he has also worked in Bangladesh Scouts as Regional Commissioner. He was the member of Board of Governors of Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies (BIISS). He also supervised the business activities of 3 Shipyards named Chittagong Dry Dock Limited, Narayangonj Dockyard Engineering Works Ltd and Khulna Shipyard Ltd as Member of Board of Directors.
Rear Admiral Makbul joined Bangladesh Navy as an Officer Cadet in January 1979 and completed his UT Officers’ Basic Course along with sub-specialisation of 5 years duration from Marshal Tito Naval Academy, Split, Former Yugoslavia. He was commissioned on 01 August 1981 in Executive Branch of Bangladesh Navy.
Rear Admiral Makbul attended various courses both at home and abroad. He took part in specialisation on Anti-Submarine Warfare from India in 1990 and graduated from Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur, Dhaka in 1994. He obtained Master in Defence Studies (MDS) from National University, Gazipur, Bangladesh in 1995. He completed Defence and Strategic Studies Course from National Defence University (NDU) of China and received Advance Diploma Degree in 2012. Rear Admiral Makbul also did Officer's Weapon and Junior Officer's Tactics Course (OW & JTC) in SI&T, Sylhet, Deputy President Course, C programming course and also did Crisis Management Course in Hawaii, USA and Transnational Counter Terrorism Course in Washington DC, USA. He also attended many seminars and symposium on national and international security matters especially maritime security related seminars both in home and abroad.
He was awarded with the Noubahini Padak (NBP), Oshamanno Sheba Padak (OSP) of Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard Medal Sheba (BCGMS) by the Government of Bangladesh for his outstanding performance and contribution in his illustrious naval career.
Director, Africa Region
Ms Ruth Okowa is a seasoned development professional with over 17 years of distinguished and illustrious experience in senior management positions in different countries.
Before joining BRAC International, Ruth served as the Deputy Regional Vice President for Living Water International, Africa, where she was responsible for providing strategic leadership to six country offices in areas of partnership building, fundraising, governance, and programme implementation. Prior to this, she served as the Programme Manager, Family Health International; Programme Director, Community and Reproductive Health, World Neighbors East Africa; CEO, The Health NGOs Network; Country Director, SOS Children's Village, Kenya; Director, Strategy for Africa; and Regional Director, Living Water International, Southern Africa. Additionally, she has undertaken a number of consultancy assignments and research projects for different national and international organisations.
Ms Ruth has a BA in sociology from Kenyatta University and an MA in demography from University of Nairobi.
Safi Rahman Khan
Safi Rahman Khan is the Director of Education Programme at BRAC.
Mr Khan has been the Strategy and Transformation Advisor of BRAC education programme since October 1, 2020 and has been involved in various strategic initiatives of education programme, including the social enterprise wing. Prior to joining BRAC, he was the Advisor (Strategy) in Apex Footwear Limited (AFL) under Apex Group. Earlier, he was the Executive Director, overseeing human resources and compliance at AFL. His initial appointment in the Apex Group was as the Project Director of Blue Ocean Footwear Limited, a Bangladeshi-Taiwanese joint venture, where he led the first phase of the project.
Mr Khan has experience working in the social sector. He was the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Freedom Foundation, an indigenous grant-making organisation, where he guided the Foundation’s revised strategic focus and reduced institutional costs while increasing the grant-making budget. He was also the Country Representative of Ashoka Innovators for the Public in Bangladesh, a US-based international network of social entrepreneurs working on system changing ideas, and was responsible for restarting the country programme and overseeing the election of 28 Ashoka Fellows.
Mr Khan has taught courses on NGOs and Social Entrepreneurship and conducted workshops on corporate governance for NGO Board members. He is currently on the Board of two Bangladeshi not-for-profit organisations, Nagorik Uddyog and Safety & Rights, and was previously on the Boards of The Resource Alliance (UK) and the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (Philippines). He holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Lawrence University, USA and an MBA from Victoria University, Australia.
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.
Disaster Risk Management, BRAC and BRAC International
Mr Sajedul Hasan is the director of Disaster Risk Management Programme at BRAC and BRAC International.
Mr Sajedul is a Social Scientist by academic training, is an international humanitarian and development professional with about 30 years of experience in providing leadership, technical and programme assistance in the areas of food security, disaster risk reduction, emergency response, conflict mitigation, and strategic policy formulation. He has extensively worked in Asia and Africa with different programme components around sustainable development, emergency preparedness and humanitarian programme management.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Sajedul worked as Chief of Party for Suchana Programme of Save the Children International in Bangladesh. During 2011-2016, Sajedul worked as Director of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) based in Bangkok, Thailand and provided leadership and strategic guidance to ADPCs work on Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Preparedness in the countries in Asia and Pacific. Mr Sajedul also held the position of Chief of Party for the OFDA funded Programme for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) which was implemented in 10 countries in Asia. He has worked with CARE International in Bangladesh, Georgia, Sierra Leone, Jordan/Iraq and Indonesia. Also, he has worked as an active member of CARE International's CERT (CARE Emergency Response Team) and participated in various emergency response (Indonesia Tsunami response, Iraq refugee response, Liberia refugee response, Georgia emergency in 1992). Sajedul also responded to some of the major disasters in Bangladesh (cyclones in 1991 and 2007 and floods in 1988 and 1998).
Mr Sajedul possesses skills and experiences in emergency preparedness and response, conflict mitigation and peace building, refugee camp management, mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into development programmes, partnership programming with government, UN agencies and NGOs, training and capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
Sheela R Rahman
Legal and Compliance, BRAC
Sheela R Rahman is the director of Legal and Compliance at BRAC.
Sheela R Rahman is a lawyer who has practised and worked in Bangladesh since 1990, with rich experience as in-house counsel, litigator and trainer. She has expert legal and practical knowledge of banking, corporate finance, corporate and commercial matters, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance. Ms Rahman has also been senior counsel at a few law offices, including Rokanuddin Mahmud and Associates and Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed and Associates, and lastly built her own practice, Maxima.Legal. She has worked as a consultant to international development organisations on secured transactions and corporate governance, law reform proposals, training, and a team member for publications on SME governance and connection of best practices with corporate performance. Ms Rahman has also been an adviser to Teach for Bangladesh and Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh.
Ms Rahman holds an LL.M. degree from University College London and is a Barrister-at-Law, having been called to the Bar of England and Wales from Lincoln’s Inn in London. She is an Advocate, Appellate Division, Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
SK Jenefa K Jabbar
Social Compliance and Safeguarding
SK Jenefa Khanom Jabbar leads the safeguarding unit and the social compliance unit at BRAC. She is also expanding BRAC’s social compliance work with a renewed focus on the RMG sector. She joined BRAC in January 2019, as the Director of the then human rights and legal aid services (HRLS) and social compliance. She also chairs the sexual harassment elimination committee at BRAC, and is the legal adviser of the organisation’s safeguarding team and BRAC University.
Prior to joining BRAC, she worked as the Regional Responsible Sourcing Director for JCPenney Purchasing Corporation overseeing South Asia, Middle East and Africa. She has a decorated career of 23 years with experience of working with renowned organisations including BRAC University, UNDP, ILO, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), TESCO, Gap Inc and Dr Kamal Hossain & Associates. She practiced law as an advocate in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh for more than nine years and is on the Independent Experts Committee of Keeping Children’s Safe (KCS).
Ms Jenefa is a Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom. She has several publications and is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, United Kingdom and Dhaka Bar Association.
Global Resource Mobilisation and Partnership(GRP)
BRAC and BRAC International
Sonia Wallman is the Director of Grants Management as part of the GRP team.
Prior to joining BRAC, Ms Wallman spent fifteen years with Save the Children within various grants and contract management capacities. She began as emergency management support following the 2004 Indonesian tsunami advising on the new and diverse emergency funding portfolio. After a few years of working with the Children in Emergencies and Crisis Department, she moved to the Regional Financial Controlling team as the Grants and Contracts Manager providing compliance support and contractual reviews and approvals for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa. Most recently, Ms Wallman held the position of Director of Strategic Portfolio and Awards Management, supporting 13 countries across the Middle East and Eastern European region, supporting ongoing and complex crises in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and the broader Mediterranean region. During her time as Director, she supported the growth of the regional annual operating budget from $48M to $250M. She led major projects including supporting the global restructuring and redesign of the award management scope inclusive of new business development, and led the embedding of that change in her region. She supported Country Offices to design and implement funding strategies to realise programmatic ambitions. She advised on donor compliance, business development, and contractual arrangements with local partners and vendors. She also possesses business writing and process management skills to build and manage consortia, and lead large and complex proposal development processes.
Prior to her tenure at Save the Children, Ms Wallman worked at CARE USA in the emergency unit and interned with the US State Department at their embassies in Morocco and Egypt within their political and economics bureaux respectively. She also interned with the World Food Program in Rome drafting content for its global gender policy.
Ms Wallman has a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies (major) and City and Regional Planning (minor) from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Regional (Urban) Planning from Cornell University.
Syed Mazbahul Morshad
Construction and Maintenance Department, BRAC
Syed Mazbahul Morshad is the chief engineer at BRAC Construction and Maintenance department. As the head of the unit, Mr Morshad is responsible for the implementation of all construction projects. He has 25 years of expertise in supervising the engineering work of various projects, from cyclone shelters to pre-fabricated steel bridges.
Previously, Mr Morshad served as the general manager at Hamid Construction Ltd. Prior to this, he worked at BRAC as the assistant chief engineer, expanding on the construction of physical infrastructure of BRAC’s development activities throughout the country.
Mr Morshad completed his Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering from CUET, and holds an MBA from BRAC University.
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 (now FCDO), 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.
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.
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).
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.
Tapan Chowdhury is a prominent industrialist and leads SQUARE, one of the pioneer and respected business houses of Bangladesh. SQUARE is engaged in Pharmaceuticals, Hospitals, Vertically Integrated Textiles, Toiletries, Food & Consumer Products, Information & Communication Technology, Organic Tea Plantation, Stock Brokerage and Satellite TV Broadcasting.
During the last Caretaker regime, Mr Chowdhury was an Adviser (Minister) responsible for the Ministry of Power & Energy, Youth & Sports, Food & Disaster Management and Science & ICT.
Mr Chowdhury was the Immediate Past President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Former President of The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Past President of Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) and Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC).
Mr Chowdhury is currently an Advisor to Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), Trustee of Bangladesh University of Health Sciences Trust (BUHS), Director of Pioneer Insurance Limited, Guardian Life Insurance Limited, Board Member of Central Depository of Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), Governing Body Member of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Executive Committee Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Core Group Member of The United Forum of Churches of Bangladesh.
The Government has recognised him over the years as one of the highest individual taxpayers of the Country. He is a Graduate of University of Dhaka and completed many advanced level courses on Business Management and Strategic Planning from U.K.
Dr Fahmida Khatun
Dr Fahmida Khatun is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading think tank in South Asia. She has accomplished her Bachelors and Masters in Economics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. She did another Masters in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and PhD in Economics from the University College London, UK. She did her Post-Doctoral research at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA. She was a Visiting Fellow at Christian Michelsen Institute, Norway, Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, South Korea and Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, India.
Dr Khatun’s areas of interest include macroeconomic policy and management, climate change and environmental economics, financial sector, international aid effectiveness, international trade and WTO issues, youth employment, gender issues, interests of Least Developed Countries, and Sustainable Development Goals. She has published extensively at home and abroad. She is a columnist to the Daily Star and contributor to the East Asia Forum.
She was a Director of the state-owned Janata Bank Limited during 2008-2011, and of the SME Foundation of Bangladesh during 2010-2013. She was a member of the Panel of Economists for the Eight Five Year Plan of Bangladesh Planning Commission.
Dr M A Sattar Mandal
Professor Mandal, an agricultural economist, has been involved in teaching, research and policy planning in agriculture and rural development for over four decades. Professor Mandal had his bachelor and masters in agricultural economics from BAU in 1973 and 1974, respectively. He did his PhD from the University of London in 1979 and post-doc studies from the University of Oxford in 1986-87. Major areas of Professor Mandal’s academic interests include agriculture and rural development, food and agricultural policy planning, irrigation and water resource management, agricultural technology, rural mechanisation and agribusiness development.
Professor Mandal was the Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh, during 2008-2011. He worked for the Bangladesh Planning Commission first as member of General Economics Division during 2000-2001 when he led the mid-term evaluation of the Fifth Five- Year Plan and completed the background studies for the Sixth Five Year Plan. He served the Planning Commission for the second term as member for Agriculture, Water Resources & Rural Institutions Division during 2011-2013 when he was involved in the evaluation and approval of many high profile projects relating to Blue Gold project, capital dredging of the Jamuna river, rural development, food security and poverty reduction.
Professor Mandal has been affiliated with BAU as its first Emeritus Professor of agricultural economics since 2017. He is currently a member of the syndicate of Bangladesh Agricultural University and Sylhet Agricultural University. He has been advising the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as a member of its Expert Pool. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of Brac- Bangladesh. Professor Mandal has been a member of the Independent Steering Committee (ISC) for the new CGIAR research program on Fish AgriFood Systems (FISH) of the WorldFish, Penang, Malaysia. Professor Mandal also advises Water Resources Group 2030 of the World Bank and CIMMYT- Bangladesh
Until recently, Professor Mandal was a government nominated member of the Board of Directors of the Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (Agricultural Research Foundation and also a Trustee of the Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Endowment Trust (BKGET) of the government. He also worked as a Senior Advisor to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Bangladesh during 2015-2016.
Professor Mandal led the preparation of important national policy documents such as Agricultural Mechanization Policy (2019), Reorganisation of the Department of Agricultural Marketing (2010), Reformation of Manpower Structure of the Department of Agricultural Extension- Ag economics and Ag engineering (2012), and Bangladesh Country Position Paper on Food Security for the SAARC Region (2007). He was also the lead researcher of the reports on Economics of Jute Production (2010), Synthesis of Agricultural Policies (2006), Bangladesh Fishery Research Vision- 2015 (2006), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-agriculture (2005), Dynamics of Aquaculture in Bangladesh (2004), National Agriculture Policy (1999), Flood Action Plan-12 & 13 (1991), and Agricultural Sector Review- Irrigation (1988).
He led many collaborative research projects with international funding and published his works widely as journal articles, reports, books and monographs. His co-edited book on “Rural Mechanization: A Driver to Agricultural Change and Rural Development” and his book in Bangla ‘Unnoyoner Golpo’ have been widely acclaimed. His edited Bangla book “Bangladesher Krishi Orthoniti- Bishoy O Bisletion” , first of its kind, is published by UPL. His extensive research works on irrigation institutions and water market significantly contributed to the consolidation of the privatisation policy for minor irrigation development of Bangladesh during 1990s. He has 86 published papers and book chapters, 72 conference papers and research reports and 13 books and monographs. He has received many prestigious awards.
He has worked as a visiting professor in many universities abroad including School of Development Studies of the University of East Anglia, UK in 1997 and 2000, and Faculty of Life Sciences of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Kleve, Germany since 2013 through 2017.
Agronomy guides for Bangladesh
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