Supervisory Board Members
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG
Sir Fazle was born in 1936 in Bangladesh. He studied Accountancy in London, qualifying as a Cost Management Accountant in 1962. While he was working as a senior corporate executive at Pakistan Shell, the 1970 cyclone and 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh dramatically changed the direction of his life. He left his job and moved to London, where he helped initiate Action Bangladesh and HELP Bangladesh in support of the Liberation War.
Early in 1972, after the war was over, he returned to the newly-independent Bangladesh, finding the economy in ruins. The return of 10 million refugees, who had sought shelter in India during the war, called for urgent relief and rehabilitation efforts. Sir Fazle established BRAC to address the needs of refugees in a remote area of north-eastern Bangladesh, guided by a desire to help the poor develop their own capacity to better manage their lives.
Today BRAC is one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating across eleven countries in Africa and Asia. Its primary objectives are to alleviate poverty and empower the poor. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, BRAC was ranked first among the world’s top 500 NGOs by Geneva-based ‘NGO Advisor’ in terms of impact, innovation and sustainability.
Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the LEGO Prize (2018), Laudato Si’ Award (2017), Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award, South Asia Region (2016), Thomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health (2016), World Food Prize (2015), Trust Women Hero Award (2014), Spanish Order of Civil Merit (2014), Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal (2014), CEU Open Society Prize (2013), Inaugural WISE Prize for Education (2011), Entrepreneur for the World Award (2009), David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) Award for lifetime achievement in social development and poverty alleviation (2007), UNDP Mahbubul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development (2004), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award (2003), Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurship Award (2003), Olof Palme Prize (2001), InterAction Humanitarian Award (1998) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980).
He is also recognised by Ashoka as one of the ‘global greats’ and is a founding member of its prestigious Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally. Sir Fazle was a member of the Group of Eminent Persons appointed by the UN Secretary-General in 2010 to advise on support for the Least Developed Countries. In both 2014 and 2017, he was named in Fortune Magazine’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
The many honorary degrees received by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed include those from Princeton University (2014), the University of Oxford (2009), Columbia University (2008) and Yale University (2007).
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 (the Institute on gender equality and women’s history).
Sylvia was part of the anti-poverty movement (director of Oxfam Novib 1994-2008, co-chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty and EEN) and is now on the boards of BRAC International.
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, lead the project Quality Educators for All with the trade union Education International and continues to be a member of the Worldconnectors.
Sylvia 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.
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury
Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury is an advisor to the chairperson and founder of BRAC. He is also a professor of population and family health at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York. During 2009-2012, he served as a senior advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation, based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also worked as a MacArthur/Bell Fellow at Harvard University.
Dr Chowdhury is one of the founding members of the Bangladesh Education Watch and Bangladesh Health Watch, two civil society watchdogs on education and health respectively. He is on the board and committees of several organisations and initiatives, including the Advisory Board of the South Asia Centre at London School of Economics, Lead Group for Scaling Up Nutrition Movement at United Nations and is the current chair of the Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH). Dr Chowdhury was a coordinator of the UN Millennium Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health, set up by the former Secretary General Kofi Annan.
He is a recipient of the ‘Innovator of the Year 2006’ award from the Marriott Business School of Brigham Young University in USA, the PESON oration medal from the Perinatal Society of Nepal in 2008 and Outstanding Leadership Award from Dhaka University Statistics Department Alumni Association. He has a wide interest in development, particularly in the areas of education, public health, poverty eradication and environment. Dr Chowdhury has published several books and over 150 articles in peer-reviewed international journals.
Dr Chowdhury holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Dhaka.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a macro-economist and public policy analyst, is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Dhaka. He is a former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the World Trade Organization offices in Geneva and Vienna, and the special advisor on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to the secretary general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is associated with a number of leading institutions, networks and editorial boards of reputed journals. Dr Bhattacharya has studied in Dhaka, Moscow and Oxford, and held a number of visiting positions, including at the Center for Global Development (CGD), Washington DC. He is the chair of two global networking initiatives, LDC IV Monitor and Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals.
Shabana Azmi is an internationally renowned film and theatre actress. She is also a highly respected social activist.
As chairperson of Nivara Hakk, she has worked for the rights of slum dwellers in Mumbai for the last 30 years. She undertook a 5-day hunger strike and courted arrest demanding alternative accommodation for a slum that had been demolished, forcing the Government to agree. Nivara Hakk, in concert with the Government and a private builder, has built homes for 50,000 slum dwellers at no cost.
As chair of Mijwan Welfare Society she works for the rights of girls and women. Ms Azmi is opposed to religious fundamentalism of all hues and is highly respected as a progressive liberal activist. She has been a former member of the Upper House in India’s Parliament.
Ms Azmi is a recipient of the International Gandhi Peace Prize and has been given countless awards for her work as an actor and an activist.
Shafiq ul Hassan
Shafiq ul Hassan is the managing director of Echo Sourcing Limited UK and Echotex Limited Bangladesh. Echotex has 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. 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 his postgraduate degrees from Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
Irene Zubaida Khan
Irene Zubaida Khan is director-general of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). She was secretary general of Amnesty International and worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years. Ms Khan is a member of the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She sits on the boards of several international human rights and development organisations. She received 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.
Parveen Mahmud FCA
Parveen Mahmud is the managing director of Grameen Telecom Trust. Over the course of her professional career, Ms Mahmud has invested substantial time in working with national and international development agencies. She was the deputy managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). She is the first female council member (2007) and, the first female president (2011) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB). She was also the first female board member of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), the apex accounting professional body of SAARC. Presently, she is serving her third term as council member in ICAB and is the chairperson of the review committee for Published Accounts & Reports (RCPAR). She sits on several boards including BRAC International, Grameenphone Limited, Linde Bangladesh Limited, MIDAS, Manusher Jonno Foundation and chairs the finance and audit committee of several organisations. She is the chairperson of Shasha Denims Limited. She has served as the member of the National Advisory Panel for SME Development of Bangladesh and founding board member of SME Foundation. Ms Mahmud served as a Working Group Member of Consultative Group on Social Indicators at UNCTAD/ISAR. She was also the vice chairperson of Underprivileged Children’s Education Program, Bangladesh and Chairperson of Acid Survivors’ Foundation.
Dr Fawzia Rasheed started out as a medical research scientist before moving into programme and policy development.
She has advised 16 ministries of health, several national and international NGOs; and served as senior policy advisor to UNAIDS, WHO, The Global Fund, and the Africa Progress Panel / Kofi Annan Foundation. Dr Rasheed has developed national plans, projects and programmes, as well as models for governance. She routinely raises funds and reviews grants for funding. In recent years, Dr Rasheed has engaged with broader development themes, from election reform and natural resource management to transparency initiatives. She works extensively in Africa and Asia.
Management Board Members
Dr Muhammad Musa
Dr Muhammad Musa is the executive director of BRAC International. He has an extensive background in leading humanitarian, social development, and public health organisations in international, cross-cultural settings. A medical doctor and public health specialist, he has a specialised training in maternal and child nutrition, and disaster management.
Before joining BRAC, he worked for 32 years with CARE International as one of its senior international management professionals. Twenty of those years were spent working in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Asia region.
He has long experience in strategic leadership, governing board management, executive-level management of large-scale operations, and humanitarian and social development programme management. He specialises in people management, leadership development, conflict resolution, and organisational change management. He also has a proven track record in effective external relationship management, marketing, brand-building, communications, and fundraising for humanitarian and development projects. He has been successful in bringing about convergence of philanthropic approaches and entrepreneurial methodologies to create sustainable development programming that achieves impact on a large scale.
In the professional field, Dr Musa has established a reputation for leading complex organisational change processes in multicultural settings. In addition, he is known for his unique ability to attract and develop young professionals into humanitarian and social development leaders. He is also an internationally recognised senior management trainer and an experienced coach.
Shameran Abed is senior director of the BRAC microfinance and ultra poor graduation programmes. BRAC’s microfinance programme serves more than 6.5 million clients in seven countries in Asia and Africa, and has total assets exceeding USD 2.5 billion. BRAC’s ground-breaking ultra poor graduation programme has graduated more than 1.8 million households out of the direst forms of poverty and social deprivation and has inspired the global uptake of the ‘graduation approach’ to tackle extreme poverty.
Shameran also chairs the board of BRAC Bank’s mobile financial services subsidiary, bKash, and serves on the boards of the BRAC UK, IPDC Finance and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Additionally, he is the chairman of the Microfinance Network and is also a member of the Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion (PRFI) and the World Economic Forum Financial Inclusion Steering Committee.
Shameran is a lawyer by training, having been made a barrister by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London, UK. He completed his undergraduate studies at Hamilton College in the United States, majoring in economics and minoring in political science.
Saif Md Imran Siddique
Saif Md Imran Siddique joined BRAC in January 2016 as the director of finance for BRAC International. Previously, he worked as the assistant vice president in Total Access Communication PCL (DTAC) in Bangkok, Thailand, under the Financial Planning and Analysis Division. Prior to that, he was the head of financial planning and budgeting at Robi Axiata Ltd in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
He began his career at Grameenphone Limited in 2001. After a brief study break, he joined Grameenphone again in 2004 and worked for nine years, where he served last as the general manager and head of business performance reporting.
Mr Saif brings with him a wealth of leadership and managerial experience in the telecommunications sector, especially in the areas of strategic financial management and cost efficiency initiatives, business planning, dynamic forecasting, business performance analysis, financial statements and management reporting. He holds an MBA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, and a BBA from North South University, Dhaka.
Lamia Rashid is the director of the Africa Region, BRAC International. She is responsible for developing and implementing country programmes, focusing on sector plans, resource mobilisation, and quality of country operations.
Previously, Ms Rashid served as the country director of Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh. Prior to this, she was the associate director of BRAC International where she led strategy formulation for the BRAC International countries, as well as large-scale country and multi-country programmes. She identified fundraising, business development and partnership opportunities for countries, regionally and globally.
Ms Rashid has worked in international development for over 22 years in several countries in Asia and Africa and in organisations including Save the Children and the World Bank. Her expertise lies in the areas of programme management, strategy development, technical support and policy analysis. She has a master’s in development studies from London School of Economics and Political Science.