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Board of Trustees

icddr,b’s Board of Trustees comprises 17 health professionals and researchers representing both developed and developing countries.

The Board was created by an Ordinance of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Three members are nominated by the People’s Republic of the Government of Bangladesh, with the World Health Organization and UNICEF nominating one member each. icddr,b’s Executive Director serves as the Member-Secretary.

The Board operates under the icddr,b Ordinance and follows the Rules of Procedure. The Board of Trustees’ roles and responsibilities include fund oversight; approving and monitoring the budget; setting broad institution-wide policies, as well as monitoring adherence to the Strategic Plan; employing, evaluating and supporting the Executive Director; maintaining the line between governance and management; and evaluating the Board’s own performance.



Nancy Cheng is a former Assistant Auditor General at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Nancy Cheng has an extensive experience as a senior practitioner in legislative auditing. She served as Assistant Auditor General from 2003 to the fall of 2018 when she retired from the public service.

Prior to retirement, she co-led the Performance Audit Practice which supported the Auditor General in producing Reports to Parliament. In addition to managing and overseeing the Practice, her area of responsibility for performance audit included a wide portfolio of departments and agencies as well as a number of management functions. This included audits focusing on the central agencies; finance and revenue; industry and economic development; science and technology; public safety; law and order; foreign affairs, immigration, and international/border activities; transportation and agriculture; and government-wide functions such as human resources management, service delivery and information technology, financial management and control, internal audits, and program evaluation.

Before that, Ms. Cheng was the Assistant Auditor General responsible for the audit of the Public Accounts of Canada, the Canada Pension Plan, the Employment Insurance Account, and a number of Crown corporations and federal entities, notably the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Canada Post Corporation, Marine Atlantic Inc., the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, five public sector pension plans, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Via Rail Canada Inc. She also oversaw the Office’s operations in Montréal and Halifax, and was responsible for the audit of two UN agencies: UNESCO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Prior to her appointment as Assistant Auditor General, Ms. Cheng was seconded to the Communications Security Establishment for 18 months as the Associate Deputy Chief for Information Technology Security.

She currently serves as a Director on the Board of the CAAF, the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation and is a member of the Board of Trustees for icddr,b, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

In 2017, Ms. Cheng was appointed to the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) of CPA Canada. The AASB sets authoritative standards and guidance for audit and other assurance engagements in Canada.

Before joining the Office, Ms. Cheng was a Computer Audit Manager with EY, where she articled and qualified as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). In March 2000, she was elected to the Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (FCPA).



Dr Tahmeed Ahmed oversees nutrition-related research and services at icddr,b, which includes obtaining funds, facilitating research of members, collaboration with international agencies including WHO, UNICEF, IAEA and academic institutions within and outside Bangladesh. Dr Ahmed is also an Adjunct Professor in Public Health Nutrition at the James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University. Prior to this, he was scientist in the Clinical Sciences Division of icddr,b where he carried out clinical and public health research in nutrition and infectious diseases, including diarrhoeal diseases and child tuberculosis. He holds a PhD in Paediatrics from University of Tsukuba, Japan and an MBBS in Medical Science from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Fatima Yasmin, a career civil servant, joined the Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance as the Secretary on 23 February 2020. Prior to this current assignment, she worked at the Export Promotion Bureau as its Vice Chairman, Ministry of Commerce and she also served as the Director General of the Institute of Public Finance (IPF), Finance Division, Ministry of Finance.

After joining the Bangladesh civil service administrative cadre in 1988, she served in various capacities in the ministries of Agriculture, Women and Children Affairs and Defense as well as Finance Division and Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance. She also worked as project manager of the International Jute Organization in 2002, as a results management consultant for the Asian Development Bank in 2007 and as an economic adviser to the European Delegation in Dhaka in 2013 under lien (leave) from government service.

Ms. Yasmin was a Hubert H. Humphrey Public Policy Fellow of the US State Department for the year 2004-5 at The Rutgers University, USA. She did her Masters in Development Economics from Australian National University (ANU), Canberra in 1995 and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1991.


Mr Md. Abdul Mannan joined as the Secretary at Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in June 2020. He completed his BSS (Honors) and MSS degrees from the Department of Political Science of the University of Dhaka and a degree in Diploma-in-Education from the University of Dhaka.

Prior to being appointed as the Secretary, Health Services Division, Mr Mannan was the Chairman (Secretary) of the Land Reforms Board. Mr Md. Abdul Mannan in his career, held responsible positions of Assistant Commissioner and Magistrate, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Additional District Magistrate and Additional Deputy Commissioner. He served as the Deputy Commissioner of Brahmanbaria and Chottogram districts for the period of 2010-2014. Prior to his appointment as Divisional Commissioner of the Chottogram Division, he served for an extensive period of time in the Ministry of Commerce as Joint Secretary as well as Additional Secretary.

Prior to this, Mr Mannan also worked in the Ministry of Housing and Public works, Local Government Division, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, as Director in Rajdhani Unnoyon Kartripakkha (RAJUK) and as Private Secretary to the Education and Political Advisor to the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

In recognition as the best Divisional Commissioner of Bangladesh, he received the 'Right to Information Medal' on the occasion of ‘International Information Rights Day-2019’ organized by the Information Commission of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. In the past two years (2017-2019), he relentlessly worked in coordinating the humanitarian activities for the forcefully displaced nearly one million Rohingya people from Myanmar staying in Bangladesh and worked as the Deputy Team Leader of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Stories and articles written by him are regularly published in the country's most circulated daily newspapers. He is also very much involved in art, literature, social and cultural activities and represents many distinguished institutions as a member of those.


Dr Abbas Bhuiya was the Deputy Executive Director and Division Director of Health Systems and Population Studies Division (HSPSD) until 2016 after working in various scientific and managerial positions for 37 years as a highly accomplished researcher at icddr,b.

Dr Bhuiya has a PhD and MA in Demography from Australian National University, Canberra and an MA in Statistics from University of Chittagong. He was the second Deputy Executive Director of icddr,b and the first Bangladeshi to be in this position. His research interests were around social determinants of health, and developing and testing interventions to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in health. He established icddr,b's Chakaria campus and Chakaria Health and Demographic Surveillance System (CHDSS). He served on the Board of Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) and was interim chair for more than a year. He was a member of the first Executive Committee of the Asian Population Association.

During his tenure at icddr,b, Dr Bhuiya worked as the Interim Executive Director in 2012 and contributed enormously in mentoring and retaining staff and developing the physical infrastructure. He was instrumental in initiating the Dr Mujibur Rahman Memorial Lecture and establishing the Dr Stan D' Souza Fellowship.His book icddr,b: A Star in the South captures his decade-long observations about the organisation.



Thérèse Dooley has 20 years of international work experience in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene. With a background in environmental health, she has worked in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho and for Ireland Aid in Zambia and South Africa.




Dr Sunil Bahl has an MD degree in Community Health Administration from National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi and MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi.  He is the Team Leader – Immunization and Vaccine Development at WHO-SEARO, New Delhi where he has worked in different capacities since 2007. He has authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Bahl has received Regional Directors reward of excellence for 2016 for contribution to maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination in South-East Asia Region of WHO. His other accolades are Certificate of appreciation from WHO and Government of India in 2014 for polio eradication and Top Honors by Rotary International for the support to Polio Eradication Program and for exemplary services; Dr B.C. Roy State Award from the Government of Delhi, India for meritorious services awarded – 1998; Appreciation certificate awarded by the Government of Delhi in 1995 for work done for the implementation of the polio programme.



Dr Bennett directs the DrPH program at Johns Hopkins and also serves as the CEO of the Future Health Systems consortium and chairs the Joint Health Systems Research Committee (Wellcome Trust/MRC/DFID/ESRC). She is a former chair of Health Systems Global.

She has a PhD from London School of Economics, MPhil from University of Cambridge, Kings College and BA from University of Oxford, St. Anne's College. With a background in politics and economics, and Dr Bennett has a broad interest in health systems and institutional challenges in promoting stronger governance for health. 


Amol Khisty holds a Bachelor of Commerce, and MBA from Nagpur University. He is a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from AICPA, USA as well as Cost Accountant (ICWA). He also holds MBA from TRIUM – a degree program jointly issued by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), HEC School of Management Paris and NYU Stern School of Business.

Amol is currently working as Chief, Budget Monitoring and Reporting at UNESCO since 2015. In his capacity, he is responsible for policies and procedures for budget management, financial monitoring and reporting to the senior management and governing bodies.

Before joining UNESCO, Amol served as Director of Finance & Administration of International Water Management Institute for almost 10 years, responsible for financial management and administration of the Institute to deliver the results that meet the strategic goals and needs. Responsible for financial management, internal controls and financial information system of the organization with multiple offices across the globe. During his tenure, the Institute implemented an Enterprise resource planning system (SAP) that was awarded “Best implementation in Public Sector” by SAP, AG and achieved the strongest financial position by more than tripling its reserves.

Amol also held the following positions:

  • Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis, GE Capital International Services (nka GENPACT)
  • Officer, budget & MIS, TATA AutoComp Systems Ltd
  • Executive – Finance, L&T John Deere Ltd
  • Officer – Costing, PMT Machine Tool Automatics Pvt Ltd

Amol also served on the Board of Overseas School of Colombo and was appointed on the Board of Association of International Agricultural Research Centers (AIARC).


Andrea is an external-relation professional with 20-year track record of increasing reach in health diplomacy, policy development and fundraising. She is an accomplished executive leader, able to both build new functions and reorganize existing functions to meet new challenges.

Andrea is a Creative relationship manager, known for careful stewardship of organizations and coalitions. Andrea has a MFA Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, USA and BA Art History from Oberlin College, USA. Currently she is working as the Executive Vice President, External Relations in Medicines for Malaria Venture, Geneva, Switzerland since 2010.

Andrea also held the following positions:

  • Director of Development, April 2006-September 2010 International Baccalaureate Organization (IB), Geneva, Switzerland
  • Colorado College (private university), 1996-2006 and Multiple Progressively Responsible posts
    • Assistant Vice president of Development, 2004-2006
    • Special Assistant to the President (50%) / Faculty Grants Coordinator (50%) 2003-4
    • Senior Development Officer, Capital Gifts, 1999-2003
    • Development Officer for Foundation and Agency Relations, 1996-1999



Dr Ragama is the Chief Research Officer at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Senior Clinical Trialist at the INDEPTH-Network. He is also a Lead Scientist at Centre for Research in Therapeutic Sciences (CREATES), Strathmore University - a consortium of KEMRI, Strathmore University, African Centre for Clinical Trials (ACCT), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).


A malaria expert, Dr Ragama served in different capacities at WHO technical Committees and has been a peer reviewer of the East Africa Medical Journal, Tropical Medical and International Health and Malaria Journal, Malaria Journal, Vaccine Journal, Clinical Pharmacology Journal, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine. He has over 25 years of experience in hospitals and clinical research.


He received his PhD in Clinical Pharmacology from University of Nairobi after getting a Masters of Medicine in Paediatrics previously graduating as a medical doctor. He has over 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals and three books on malaria, management of coma and prolonged seizures to his credit.

Dr Fred Binka has a DSc (Honoris Causa) University of Health and Allied Sciences Ho. Ghana and PhD in Epidemiology (Summa cum laude) from University of Basel, Switzerland. He is now appointed as a professor of clinical epidemiology at University of Health and Allied Sciences, and has previously served as a coordinator with WHO Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance in the Greater Mekong Sub-region in Asia.

Dr Binka is a recipient of Rudolf Geigy Award and Ronald Ross Medal among other accolades. He has authored around 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has been involved in public health system revamping in Sierra Leone, worked as the executive director of INDEPTH Network, conducted a number of clinical trials in Africa other than working as a public health specialist with the Ministry of Health, Ghana and as a medical officer with WHO.

He has served as a board of trustees member of different national and international organisations based in Ghana, Switzerland, UK and Burkina Faso and also as an editorial board member of different scientific journals. He is currently a member of Malaria Consortium UK BoT and has previously served WHO committees, IVCC and IVI among others.


Dr Abdullah Baqui, MBBS, MPH, DrPH, is a professor of International Health and the Director of the International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He is trained in medicine, public health, health systems, and infectious diseases epidemiology. He has extensive experience in public health research, training, education, and policy advocacy. He joined the Bloomberg School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University in 2000. Earlier he served icddr,b in various capacities for 22 years. Working closely with the WHO and many other national and international organisations, he assists with the development of policies intended to improve public health.  He serves as the editor-in-chief of Journal of Health Population and Nutrition and as an honorary editorial consultant of the Lancet.

He has authored 248 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journal and many other reports, working papers and policy briefs. His current research interests include design and evaluation of health interventions to improve health and survival of mothers, newborns, and children and implementation research to improve coverage, quality and equity of preventive and curative health interventions in large programs in low- and middle-income countries of South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Working with Bangladesh Ministry of Health, icddr,b and other NGOs, he has established the Projahnmo Study Group in Bangladesh. He has conducted pioneering research related to newborn, child and maternal health that influenced national and global policies and programs.

The other interests of Dr Baqui include use of evidence in policy and programmes, including the development of research capacity and the strengthening of public health training and education. He has mentored numerous Bangladeshi public health professionals.


Dr Thein Thein Htay is a Deputy Minister for Health and currently her main responsibility for the medical education as well as health services delivery in Myanmar. She is also an adjunct faculty member as well as an honorary Professor to the University of Public Health in Myanmar.

She obtained her Master of Health Science in population development and reproductive health from the John Hopkins Bloomberg University of Public Health in 2000. She earned a range of certificates on MCH/Family Planning including from UCLA and BKKBN in early 1990s. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Medicine (1), Yangon in 1987. She also holds a medical degree from the University of Medicine (2), Yangon since 1977. Her career focused originally on maternal and child health, and then extends to reproductive health since 1996.

Dr Thein was one of the founding members of family planning program in Myanmar. In this capacity, she leads the public health division of the DOH throughout her career, with main thrust on meeting MDGs  4 & 5. She is also volunteering as a technical consultant to the one of key national NGOs, Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association since 2003. She has been a research consultant to many UN funded RH projects. She also served as a member of Gender Advisory Panel, WHO-HQ from 1999 to 2004.  Also served as a regional steering committee member for the Lancet series of South East Asia Region’s  health issues and also a country lead for Lancet Myanmar Series 2014.

Currently, she is a member of International Steering Committee of 8th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights. She is keen in integrating HIV and FP services since decades ago and have participated in every effort to make it happened at country level. Her keen interest and vast experience in medical education has been instrumental in advocating decision makers for the reform towards new paradigm of medical education system in Myanmar. Currently, she is leading the country’s initiatives towards Universal Health Coverage and malaria elimination, both to be fulfilled by 2030.

Professor Anu Maria Kantele-Häkkinen is a professor of infectious diseases at Helsinki University, Finland and a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. She is also Head of Clinic for Travel Medicine, Medical Centre Aava, Helsinki and Head of Villa Karo Research Center, Benin and Head of HUCH Vaccination Center, Helsinki University Hospital.

She has dual docent degrees in Infectious Diseases (2010) and Immunology (2002) and certified specialist qualifications in infectious diseases and internal medicine following Doctor of Medical Sciences and Licentiate of Medicine degrees from University of Helsinki and an MSc in Cell Biology from University of Jyväskylä. She also holds Diplomas in Tropical Medicine on Southeast Asia and South America, and a Fellowship of Faculty of Travel Medicine in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.

She has editorial board memberships with Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases and Finnish Medical Journal and has been a reviewer with over 10 international journals. She has managed a number of large research grants including vaccine trials as a principal investigator and supervised doctoral dissertations at the university level. She has also been in the scientific advisory boards of Pfizer, Novartis, Crucell, GSK and Valneva.

Prof Kantele-Häkkinen has nearly 200 research articles in scientific journals, edited volumes and textbooks. She is affiliated with a number of institutes including The Finnish Society for International Health (FSIH), International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), TropNet (Network of Tropical Medicine Experts in Europe), Nordic Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (NSCMID), Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine (NECTM), founder and member of North European Initiative for Travel Medicine Education (NITME) among others. 



Mr Syed Monjurul Islam joined icddr,b as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in February 2017 after retiring from his role as Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of Bangladesh in October 2016.

As a senior member of the Bangladesh Civil Service, Mr Islam has previously represented the government on a wide range of committees, which include The Global Fund, GAVI and the icddr,b Board of Trustees. He has vast experience in health, finance, project/programme management, governance, bilateral funding and working with donors, as well as team building. As Health Secretary Mr Islam was responsible for overseeing the Ministry of Health’s annual budget of approximately US$2 billion and 200,000 staff across seven executing agencies.

Mr Islam has a PGD in ‘Development Planning Techniques’ from the Graduate School of Development Studies, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague Netherlands, and an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka and a BCom, from University of Dhaka.