Fazle Hasan Abed


Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is the founder and chairperson of BRAC, formerly known as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee.

A native of Bangladesh, Abed worked as an accountant for Shell Oil Company in the 1960s, eventually heading its finance division. After a cyclone killed over 300,000 people in Bangladesh in 1970, Abed co-founded HELP, a relief and rehabilitation organization. After Bangladesh's 1971 war for independence, Abed was forced to flee to England where he created Action Bangladesh, which lobbied for his country's independence with governments of Europe.

After the war, Abed then returned to Bangladesh. In 1972, founded BRAC (first known as Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee and then as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), with a goal towards helping the poor develop their capacity to better manage their lives and rehabilitating refugees displaced by the war. BRAC currently operates in Bangladesh and 10 other Asian countries, covering an estimated 135 million people.

Abed has won numerous awards, including including the WISE Prize (2011), Conrad Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Award (2009), the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), the Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), the Gates Award for Global Health (2004), UNDP Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution in Human Development (2004), and UNICEF’s Maurice Pate Award (1992). In 2010, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.