Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is a social worker and the founder and chairman of BRAC, the largest NGO in the world. Fazle Hasan Abed was born in 1936 into a landed family in Baniachong in Bangladesh’s Habiganj district. Fazle Abed's father and his three uncles were adopted by Syed Shamsul Huda, who was one of the most influential personalities in Calcutta. Under Syed Shamsul Huda's direction, Fazle Abed's father Syed Mustafa Ali and his three uncles received education from the prestigious St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. However Fazle Abed's family moved out of Calcutta and he matriculated from Pabna Zilla School and went on to complete his higher secondary education from Dhaka College. Then He left home to attend Glasgow University, where, and in an effort to break away from tradition and do something radically different - he studied Naval Architecture. Later he joined the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London.
The 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh had a profound effect on him, then in his thirties, a professional accountant who was holding a senior corporate executive position at Shell Oil. The war dramatically changed the direction of his life; he left his job and moved to London to devote himself to Bangladesh's War of Independence. There, he helped to initiate a campaign called "Help Bangladesh" to organize funds to raise awareness about the war in Bangladesh. Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder and chairperson of the world's largest NGO, he is to be knighted by the Queen of England for his services to alleviating poverty in Bangladesh and abroad. Abed is the first Bangladeshi to receive the honour since 1947, though he is the second person in his family to be knighted. In 1913 his great uncle, Justice Nawab Sir Syed Shamsul Huda also received a knighthood. Sir Fazle has received numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), the Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Social Development and Poverty Alleviation (2007), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), UNDP Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution in Human Development (2004), Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award (2002), Olof Palme Award (2001), UNICEF's Maurice Pate Award (1992) and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980). Fazle Hasan Abed - was holds dual British and Bangladesh citizenship - will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2010 for services in tackling poverty. He has also been awarded for empowering the poor in Bangladesh and globally. Mr Abed's name was included in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
Fazle Hasan Abed left home to attend University of Glasgow, where, and in an effort to break away from tradition and do something radically different - he studied Naval Architecture. But there was little work in ship building in Pakistan and a career in Naval Architecture would make returning home difficult. With that in mind, Abed joined the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London, completing his professional education in 1962. Abed returned to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to join Shell Oil Company and quickly rose to head its finance division. His time at Shell exposed Abed to the inner workings of a large conglomerate and provided him with insight into corporate management, which would become invaluable to him later in life. It was during his time at Shell that the devastating cyclone of 1970 hit the eastern coastal regions of the country, killing 300,000 people. He was so moved by the death and destruction in the worst affected areas of Manpura that he, along with some friends, decided to set up HELP -- a private body -- and became involved in the relief and rehabilitation efforts in that area. The War of Liberation, which began...