Governing Board

  • Ejaj Ahmad

    Ejaj Ahmad
    President

    Ejaj Ahmad

    Ejaj Ahmad

    President, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center


    Ejaj, founder and president of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute, is an instructor, practitioner and consultant of leadership. He established BYLC in January 2009 with the vision of creating a more inclusive, tolerant and just society by training the next generation of home-grown leaders. So far, Ejaj has trained more than 500 high school, college and university students and many of them are now in leadership positions in different youth organizations in Bangladesh and abroad. He also speaks on leadership to senior professionals in the private, public sectors and nonprofit sectors in Bangladesh.

    Prior to founding BYLC, Ejaj’s outer journey in life included academic and professional exposures in four continents, more than twelve years of community campaign organizing and public speaking experience, and two years of formal instruction in leadership under world renowned professors at Harvard. He earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2008. While at Harvard, Ejaj studied communication under David Gergen, former White House Adviser to four US Presidents, co-founded Harvard Toastmasters Club, an international club for developing public speaking and leadership skills, and campaigned for President Obama during the primary season.

    Ejaj studied developmental entrepreneurship at MIT and his team won first prize in the 2007 MIT100K Executive Summary Contest, a globally recognized business plan competition. In 2007, MIT selected Ejaj to participate in the first Global Science and Technology Leadership Forum in Tokyo. Ejaj is also an alumnus of the Leadership for the 21st Century program at the Dubai School of Government and the Art and Practice of Leadership Development program at Harvard University. In 2009, he was profiled as one of Asia’s most promising young leaders and awarded the 2009-2010 Paragon Fellowship by the Foundation of Youth Social Enterprise. In 2010, he was featured in The Washington Post’s ‘On Leadership’ program and selected as a 2010 YouthActionNet Global Fellow by the International Youth Foundation in USA. In 2011, he was selected as a delegate to the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit 2011 in New Delhi. In 2012, he was invited to speak on youth leadership at the UNDP Youth Leadership Forum in Nairobi, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society. Recently, he was invited as a guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Advanced Leadership Studies at Kyoto University.

    In his former career, Ejaj worked as an economist and entrepreneur in Bangladesh. He worked in several World Bank/UNDP/Bangladesh Government projects pertaining to banking, international trade, sustainable environment management, and private sector development. He founded an international trading company engaged in the pharmaceutical sector. In 2003, Ejaj graduated with an MA (Hons) in Economics from St. Andrews University, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. While at St. Andrews, Ejaj was heavily involved in student politics. He led several cross-campus campaigns and held an elected position in the students’ union.

  • Homayara Ahmed

    Homayara Ahmed
    Board Member

    Homayara Ahmed

    Homayara Ahmed

    Board Member


    Homayara Ahmed is an assistant professor at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka, where she teaches courses on human resource management in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Previously, Homayara worked in the financial sector. Prior to that, she was an Associate at Monower Associates, a leading management and HR consulting firm in Bangladesh, and was responsible for advising clients on process development for human resource management, and conducting training programs.

    Homayara graduated with BBA and MBA from IBA, University of Dhaka. She is an external consultant of Monower Associates, and a member of University & Industry Alliance, a non-profit management and educational consulting center under University of Dhaka.

    Homayara has a keen interest in languages – she learnt Japanese and French recently and is still trying others. She is musically inclined and most of her spare time these days is spent playing with her three-year old son.

  • Manzoor Hasan OBE

    Manzoor Hasan OBE
    Chairperson of BYLC

    Manzoor Hasan OBE

    Manzoor Hasan OBE

    Chairperson of the Governing Board, BYLC


    Manzoor Hasan, Chairperson of BYLC, is currently an Advisor to BRAC University’s Institute of Governance Studies. Previously, he was the founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003) and then the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of Transparency International in Berlin. He was awarded the Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for his work on transparency. He re-joined BRAC as its Deputy Executive Director in 2004. For BRAC University, he was instrumental in putting together a Masters Degree program in Governance & Development.

    Manzoor has been an active member of the civil society in Bangladesh for over two decades. In his former career, he practiced civil and commercial law in England and Bangladesh. He was also involved in the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom. Manzoor received his Bachelors Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and was then called to the English Bar from Lincoln’s Inn.

  • Sara Hossain

    Sara Hossain
    Board Member

    Sara Hossain

    Sara Hossain

    Board Member


    Sara Hossain is a barrister practicing in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division), mainly in the areas of constitutional law, human rights law and family law, and a Senior Associate at Dr. Kamal Hossain & Associates. She was educated at Oxford University, called to the Bar from Middle Temple in 1989, and enrolled as an Advocate of the Dhaka Bar in 1990. Sara is a Board Member of Ain o Salish Kendra, a national human rights and legal aid organization, and also does pro bono work with Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, a leading national private legal services organization.

    Sara regularly writes, lectures, and comments on human rights law and practice. Earlier, she headed the South Asia Programme at the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS), based in London, where she worked with lawyers and judges across South Asia on the process of incorporating international human rights law into national courts. She has written and lectured on public interest law, domestic application of international human rights law, and on women’s rights. Her most recent publication is ‘Honour’ Crimes Paradigms and Violence against Women (Zed, 2005), co-edited with Lynn Welchman.

  • Pial Islam

    Pial Islam
    Board Member

    Pial Islam

    Pial Islam

    Board Member


    Pial Islam is Managing Partner, pi Strategy Consulting, an innovation strategy advisory firm that is based in Bangladesh and has partner firms in Argentina, South Africa, Poland and UAE.

    Prior to launching pi Strategy Consulting, Pial was a Global Leadership Fellow (GLF) with the World Economic Forum (WEF). As a GLF with the WEF, Pial received leadership and management training specially designed and offered by London School of Economics, INSEAD and Columbia University on topics covering international relations, global finance, power & influence, strategic intuition, and applied innovation.

    Pial joined the WEF after graduating with an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he was a Mason Fellow. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, an MBA, and a professional designation in management consulting, Certified Management Consultant (CMC), where he ranked among the top-10 management consultants in Canada in the qualifying exam.

    Previously, Pial worked as a management consultant for several years with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, advising clients from private, public and non-profit sectors in North America, Europe and Asia on issues involving strategy, policy, innovation, operations management and international development. Before that, Pial worked as the Assistant Country Manager for MCI, founded an internet start-up and worked as a Manager for a technology venture of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

    Pial has been published in Kennedy School Review at Harvard University, Daily Star, and Bangladesh Brand Forum, interviewed by magazines and invited to speak at international conferences.

  • Akhter Matin Chaudhury

    Akhter Matin Chaudhury
    Board Member

    Akhter Matin Chaudhury

    Akhter Matin Chaudhury

    Board Member


    Akhter Matin Chaudhury is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh.

    Akhter qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976 in the United Kingdom, where he lived and worked for various organizations for 15 years. He returned to Bangladesh in 1987 to join BOC Bangladesh Ltd., a multinational industrial gases company, where he served in various capacities, including General Manager (Finance) & Company Secretary, and ultimately on the Board as Director (Gases). He left BOC in 1998 to co-found Eshna Consulting Team Ltd., a management consulting company, of which he was the Managing Director.

    In 2000, Akhter joined Organon (Bangladesh) Ltd., since renamed Nuvista Pharma Ltd., and has been its Managing Director since 2001, assuming the additional role of Chairman since 2006. He is also the Chairman of Nuvista Consumer Heathcare Ltd. and Nuvista AnimalHealth and CropCare Ltd.

  • Zafar Sobhan

    Zafar Sobhan
    Board Member

    Pial Islam

    Zafar Sobhan

    Board Member


    Zafar Sobhan is the Editor of Dhaka Tribune. He also writes a weekly column for The Sunday Guardian, and has to his name numerous articles, features, interviews, book chapters, and essays in publications such as TIME, Himal, Economic & Political Weekly, Outlook, The Tribune, Emirates Evening Post, and others. Previously, he served as editor of Forum and opinions editor of The Daily Star.

    Zafar is also a licensed New York City public school teacher and a member of the New York State Bar. Zafar has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature and a J.D. in law. He was a 2009 World Fellow at Yale University. In addition to his work in media, he is also involved with a number of organizations aimed at engaging young people on social and civic issues, and helping them find a voice. Zafar was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005 and was a delegate to the Asia21 Young Leaders Summit in Tokyo in 2008.