Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of Brac, announced his retirement as chairperson of BRAC Bangladesh and BRAC International yesterday.
He will now work as the chair emeritus, effective August 2019, said a press release by the organisation. He will now focus on Brac’s global strategy and governance structure.
Sir Fazle founded Brac in 1972, at the age of 36, and served as its executive director until 2001.
At 65, he retired as executive director and was elected the chairperson of BRAC Bangladesh.
Later, he was also elected as the chairperson of Brac International.
“For the past few years, I have put a lot of thought and preparation into planning my succession at BRAC. Now, at the age of 83, I feel it is the right time for me to step down from my role as Chairperson and focus my time on guiding the future strategy of Brac,” Sir Fazle said.
BRAC Bangladesh recently appointed Asif Saleh as its new executive director. Dr Muhammad Musa joined as executive director of Brac International in May 2019.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, renowned academic, economist and policymaker will join Brac as chairperson.
Ameerah Haq, former UN undersecretary general for the Department of Field Support, has been elected as the chairperson of the BRAC International.
Rahman and Haq, along with the other board members, will oversee the governance aspects and provide independent oversight to the executive directors of BRAC Bangladesh and BRAC International respectively.
Abed started Brac in 1972 with a small relief and rehabilitation project in northeastern Bangladesh. Today, Brac is one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating in eleven countries across Africa and Asia.
Abed has been honoured with numerous national and international awards, 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) and World Food Prize (2015).
In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by the British Crown for his services in reducing poverty.