Stiching BRAC International
Supervisory Board Members
Ms Ameerah Haq is the former UN 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 of field experience. 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 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 and has served as UN resident coordinator in Malaysia and Laos.
Ms Haq currently serves on the Board for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, on the secretary-general’s senior expert group on Human Rights Up Front, on the Board for the Peace Operations Training Institute, Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also a special 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 many 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 honors 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.
Sylvia Borren has worked all her life within and for civil society organisations, both professionally and as a volunteer.
She was part of the Dutch and global women’s and sexual rights movements (COC, ILGA, IWC for a just and sustainable Palestinian- Israeli peace) and is now advisor to the UN Women National Committee Netherlands and ATRIA (Institute on gender equality and women’s history). Ms Borren was part of the anti-poverty movement (director of Oxfam Novib 1994-2008, and co-chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty and EEN).
She was on two national governmental advisory commissions (for Youth Policy and the Advisory Council on International Affairs), co-chair of the Worldconnectors (a Dutch think tank), on the board of a large mental health institute (Altrecht), worked as an organisational consultant with De Beuk for many years, led the project Quality Educators for All with the trade union Education International, and continues to be a member of the Worldconnectors.
Ms Borren was recently director of Greenpeace Netherlands (2011- 2016), part of the Forest Stewardship Council Netherlands, and is now on the advisory commission of Staatsbosbeheer, which manages nature reserves.
She is a freelance consultant at ‘Working for Justice’ and a senior adviser for Governance & Integrity.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a macroeconomist and public policy analyst, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka, where he was its first Executive Director. He was Bangladesh’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to WTO and UN Offices in Geneva and Vienna and former Special Advisor on LDCs to the Secretary General of UNCTAD. Earlier, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
He studied in Dhaka, Moscow, and Oxford. Visiting positions held include Senior Fulbright Fellow at the Center for Global Development, Washington DC. He serves on the boards and working groups of various leading institutions and editorial boards of reputed journals including Oxford Development Studies. He was General Secretary of the Bangladesh Economic Association for three consecutive terms.
Dr Bhattacharya chairs the Southern Voice, a network of 50 think tanks from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, dedicated to following up and reviewing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He led the pioneering multi-country studies on shaping the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, data deficits of SDG monitoring, and early signals of SDG implementation in the developing countries. He also chairs LDC IV Monitor, an independent partnership of eight international organisations and academic institutions engaged in monitoring the outcome of the fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries.
He serves as the Convenor of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh – a platform of more than 100 NGOs and private sector bodies, seeking to contribute to the delivery of the SDGs at the country level.
He recently edited the volume Bangladesh’s Graduation from the Least Developed Countries Group: Pitfalls and Promises, Routledge (2018); Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda, Routledge, London (2017); and was the team leader of the study Quest for Inclusive Transformation of Bangladesh: Who Not to be Left Behind (2017).
Shabana Azmi is an internationally celebrated film and theatre actress.
She has won five national and five international awards for best actress.
She is also a highly respected social activist and tireless campaigner for the rights of women, slum dwellers, and the underprivileged. She heads the Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), an NGO that works for empowerment of the girl child in rural India. MWS’s activities include education, primary healthcare and sanitation, skill development, and employment generation.
Ms Azmi was nominated to The Rajya Sabha by the President of India in 1997. She is a recipient of the Padmashri and Padma Bhushan. She was awarded the Gandhi International Peace Prize in 2006. At the bicentennial celebrations of international human rights in Paris in 1989, she was honoured along with Mother Theresa by President Mitterand of France.
She also won the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum 2006.
She has been conferred five Doctorates by renowned universities, both national and international. She has received the prestigious Martin Luther King, Rosa Park, and Chavez Awards and is a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. A former UN Goodwill Ambassador for Population and Development, she continues to work on issues of public health. She has recently been nominated as Global Leadership Ambassador for the Women in Public Service Project initiated by Hillary Clinton.
Parveen Mahmud FCA
Parveen Mahmud is the chairperson of Underprivileged Children Education Program, Bangladesh. She started her career with BRAC and was the deputy managing director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). She has diverse experiences with national and international development agencies, the corporate sector, and is a practicing accountant.
Ms Mahmud was the founding managing director of Grameen Telecom Trust. She was a partner in Acnabin & Co, Chartered Accountants. She is the first female president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), and also, the first female board member of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), the apex accounting professional body of SAARC. She is the chairperson of CA Female Forum – Women in Leadership Committee, ICAB and is the vice chairperson of the Women in Leadership Committee of SAFA.
She sits on numerous boards including Transparency International Bangladesh, Centre for Policy Dialogue, PKSF, Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service, Manusher Jonnyo Foundation, Dhaka Ahsania Mission Foundation for Economic Development, Ghashful and Grameenphone Limited. She is an independent director of Apex Footwear Limited and Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited.
Ms Mahmud is the chairperson of Her Story Foundation and Dakkha – Skilling Bangladesh. She was the chairperson of Micro Industries Development and Assistance Services, Acid Survivor’s Foundation and Shasha Denims Limited.
Ms Mahmud served as a member of the National Advisory Panel and was convener, SME Women’s Forum for SME Development of Bangladesh. She was also the founding board member of the SME Foundation and a working group member of the Consultative Group on Social Indicators of UNCTAD/ISAR.
Ms Mahmud has received several accolades for her services, including Ananyanna Top Ten Women – 2018 Award in 2019, Joya Alokito Nari – 2018 Award from RTV, and Begum Rokeya Shining Personality Award 2006 from Narikantha Foundation.
Victoria Balyejusa Sekitoleko is a former Minister of Agriculture in the Ugandan government. She was a representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in China, Mongolia, and South Korea, and previously served as the FAO’s representative in Ethiopia to the African Union and to the Economic Community for Africa.
Ms Sekitoleko is currently the chair of the governing board of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance, which unites all those involved in the industry to optimise their ability to profitably and sustainably pursue the many global opportunities in the world’s largest industry.
In 2010, Ms Sekitoleko founded the Uganda Community Cultural Centre which trades as Speakers Forum. This trains professionals to become skilled presenters and also supports community libraries.
Ms Sekitoleko was educated at Makerere University in Kampala, where she attained a BSc in Agriculture majoring in Farm Management and Extension.
Marilou van Golstein Brouwers
Marilou van Golstein Brouwers is a former chair of the Management Board and founder of Triodos Investment Management BV, a subsidiary of Triodos Bank.
Ms Brouwers is an international entrepreneurial impact investment banker, with more than 30 years of experience in values-driven business and banking, with immense expertise on impact investing.
She started working for Triodos Bank in 1990 and was involved in the founding of Triodos Investment Management, of which she became the managing director in 2003. She was the chair of the Management Board from January 2015 to December 2018.
Ms Brouwers is currently active in a variety of roles. Within Triodos Bank, she is a member of several boards and involved in the start-up of the Triodos Regenerative Money Centre. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Impact Investing Network and the Special Working Group on impact economy by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment. She is chair of the Supervisory Board of B Lab Europe and the Supervisory Board of Qredits, The Netherlands, one of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative Leadership Champions.
Ms Brouwers has served on the board of directors of banks in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was a member of the Group of Advisors for the United Nations Year of Microcredit in 2004 and 2005, of the Executive Committee of CCAP (2003-2008), the Board of Trustees of Women’s World Banking (2003-2012), the Advisory Committee of the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (2014-2017) and the Advisory Council on International Affairs Committee for Development Cooperation in The Netherlands. She was chair of SBI Limited (2011-2013), the Steering Committee of the Principles for Responsible Investment / Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (2011-2013) and the Advisory Board of Women in Financial Services in The Netherlands (2011-2016). She was also treasurer of the Max Havelaar Foundation (2008-2015).
Ms Brouwers studied business and economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Gregory Chen has worked on financial inclusion for 25 years, with most of his work spanning across South Asia. His work focuses on hands-on advisory and implementation with microfinance institutions and, for the past decade, with newer players in digital finance. This has included work with digital players like bKash, Wave Money and also development organisations including the Aga Khan Development Network, BRAC, and Dvara. His work has included deep technical engagements with more than a dozen financial sector regulators. He has also worked as a corporate banker at Bank of America and with the financial services consulting firm Enclude.
Mr Chen is a member of CGAP’s management team and oversees CGAP’s policy Engagement. He focuses on helping policy makers adapt to the rapid change in the world of financial services brought on by technology, and particularly to ensure that financial systems can responsibly reach the disadvantaged.
Mr Chen is a regular speaker on microfinance and digital finance at the Boulder Institute for Microfinance, BRAC University, Johns Hopkins, Tufts University, Yale University, and American University, among others. He has a master’s degree in international development from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.