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Board of Trustees

icddr,b’s Board of Trustees comprises 13 professionals and researchers from 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 has been working for the last three decades in simplifying the management of childhood malnutrition, childhood tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases. He leads the BEED (Bangladesh Environmental Enteric Dysfunction) study that attempts to discover non-invasive biomarkers of environmental enteric dysfunction, an important cause of stunting in children. Together with Dr Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis he discovered microbiota directed complementary food (MDCF) - a novel intervention for childhood malnutrition. This discovery was highlighted by the prestigious journal Science as one of the scientific breakthroughs of 2019. He is continuing the research on MDCF with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Dr Ahmed studied in St. Gregory’s High School and Notre Dame College, Dhaka and then obtained his medical degree from Mymensingh Medical College. He received residential training in Dhaka Children’s Hospital and subsequently studied at the University of Tsukuba in Japan for his PhD. He has recently been appointed the Executive Director of icddr,b where he has been working for the last three decades. As a member of the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group of the WHO, Dr Ahmed revised the global guidelines for management of childhood acute malnutrition. He advises the Global Task Force on Cholera Case Control (GTFCC) on case management of cholera in children. Dr Ahmed was awarded the Bangladesh Academy of Science - Dr Sultan Ahmed Choudhury Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in Medical Science in 2003. He received from the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the Islamic Bank Development Transformers’ Roadshow Award in 2018. Dr Ahmed works closely with the Ministry of Health of Bangladesh, WHO, UNICEF and the International Atomic Energy Agency in research, policy issues and training on nutrition. He has more than 400 papers published in international journals and books. Dr Ahmed was the President of the Commonwealth Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN), an association of professionals in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition from the 54 Commonwealth nations.  He is Professor of Public Health Nutrition of James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka and also Affiliated Professor of School of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle. Dr Ahmed has recently been appointed Honorary Senior Fellow of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

Read more about Dr Ahmed's illustrious career in The Lancet.



Sharifa Khan, a career civil servant, joined as the Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance on 17 July 2022. Prior to this position, she was the Member (Secretary), Planning Commission, Bangladesh for about one and a half year.

Ms. Sharifa Khan belongs to 9th Batch of BCS Administration Cadre who joined at Bangladesh Civil Service on 26 January 1991. In her colourful career, she held various positions in the Ministry of Agriculture, BPATC, Deputy Commissioner's office, Dhaka, WTO Cell and the Ministry of Commerce. She served for about five years at the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). She also served as the Commercial Counselor, Bangladesh High Commission, London from 2012 to 2017 with high reputation.

Ms. Sharifa Khan obtained her Bachelor (Honors) and Masters degrees in Economics from Dhaka University. She also holds Diploma and Masters degrees in Development Economics from the Australian National University (ANU), Australia. She published a number of articles on global trade, LDC graduation, intellectual property rights and agriculture negotiations in various local and international journals.

Md. Anwar Hossain Howlader has joined Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as Secretary on 14 June, 2022. Prior to that, he held the post of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Bangladesh. In last 31 years, Mr. Howlader worked in numerous vital positions of the govt. including Secretary, Divisional Commissioner, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Assistant Commissioner (Land), Magistrate, Assistant Commissioner etc.

Mr Howlader worked as Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary at the undivided Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and also at Health Education and Family Welfare Division. During his journey of excellence, he worked notably as Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Satkhira District and Commissioner of Khulna Division. Mr. Howlader also worked in numerous Ministries and Departments including Ministry of Textiles and Jute, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Local Government Division, Bangladesh Parjatan (Tourism) Corporation, Department of Environment etc.

Mr. Howlader was born in a renowned Muslim family of Barishal District. He studied Bsc in Agriculture and Msc in Agronomy from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), and later achieved his PhD from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University.          








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 has over 22+ years of experience in financial management, strategy development and implementation as well as risk management with established record of success in varies sectors such as Auto, knowledge process outsourcing, International NGO as well as Intergovernmental Organization. Amol served on the Board of Overseas School of Colombo and was appointed on the Board of Association of International Agricultural Research Centers (AIARC).

In his current role, he oversees the finance and accounting operations of an intergovernmental Organization to ensure provision of effective services to the stakeholders. In the past, 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


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.

Professor Rosalind Louise Smyth is an Irish-British paediatrician. She is a Professor of Child Health at UCL and the Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health from 2012 until 2022. She has been Vice Dean of Research in the UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences since 2022.
Professor Smyth was appointed a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list in 2015 for services to the regulation of drugs for children. She is strongly committed to Open Access publishing and was a Director of the Public Library of Science from 2006–2016. She is a Governor and Trustee of the Health Foundation (2016), Trustee of The Medical Research Foundation, and The Lister Institute. She was chair of the MRC's Clinical Careers and Training Committee from 2017 until 2022. She has been Chair of the MRC's Training and Careers Group since 2022.
Her current research interest includes clinical studies of viral/host interactions in RSV bronchiolitis, clinical trials, and systematic reviews of treatments for childhood respiratory disease. Professor Smyth previously served as Professor of Paediatric Medicine at The University of Liverpool, UK, and held the position of Director of the UK Medicines for Children Research Network, which supports a variety of paediatric research with children across all of England.
Additionally, Professor Smyth has been involved in drug regulation in an advisory capacity and has chaired the Paediatric Expert Advisory Group of the Commission on Human Medicines (2002-2013) and served as a member of CHM (2009-2013). She graduated in medicine from Clare College, Cambridge, and the University of London and trained in paediatrics in London, Cambridge, and Liverpool.

Dr Hanna Maria Nohynek completed her medical studies, PhD, and international health competence in Helsinki, Finland. She is the Chief Medical Officer and Team Leader of Vaccine Programme Development at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, former KTL), Finland. She is also the secretary of the Finnish NITAG, National Advisory Board of Vaccines (KRAR), and does private practice at the travel health clinic of Aava/ Pikkujätti in Helsinki. 
Dr Nohynek’s PhD work was on the aetiology of childhood pneumonia in Finland, Russia, and The Philippines. In collaboration with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, The Philippines, Dr Nohynek coordinated phase II trials (Hib, meningococcal, PCV, PPS among pregnant mothers and infants) and a major phase III trial of an investigational 11PCV of Sanofi Pasteur against childhood pneumonia on Bohol during years 2000-2004. Her research interests include vaccine safety, register-based vaccine impact studies, policy and decision-making, and evidence-based evaluation of introducing new vaccines into national programmes. Dr Nohynek’s publications include more than 100 original articles (including the first scientific report on the association between vaccination and narcolepsy), chapters and books. She teaches vaccine-related epidemiology and methodology nationally and internationally and has guided several elective, graduate, PhD students.
 Dr Nohynek has served on expert committees evaluating the introduction of PCV and rotavirus vaccine in Finland and as technical advisor to EU, IMI, IVI, WHO (GACVS 2006-12), GAVI, SIDA/SRC, Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several vaccine manufacturers. She was the chairman of EPIET 1998-2001 and a member of EDCTP 2002-3. Dr Nohynek belongs to the faculty of Advanced Course in Vaccinology since its initiation in 2000, initiated the EPIET vaccine epidemiology module in 1997, and the Finnish Diploma Course on Global Health in 2000.