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Senior Leadership Team

Our 4,000 plus staff are led by Executive Director Dr Tahmeed Ahmed and the Senior Leadership Team. Together they are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation and are accountable to the Board of Trustees


Senior leadership

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.


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

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 (1997), and an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (1983) and a Bachelor of Commerce, from the University of Dhaka (1979).

Professor Allen Ross, MD, PhD, DMS, FRCP (Edin), FRCPath, joined icddr,b infectious diseases division in 2018. He is a tenured professor and chair of tropical medicine & infectious diseases with Griffith University, Australia, and a physician scientist with Menzies Health Institute, Queensland.

His expertise and research interests lie in the realm of postgraduate education, global health, infectious diseases, medical microbiology, disease control, and vaccination. Prof Ross completed a BSc in Biology, MSc in Human Biology during the 1990s from Canada before proceeding to Brisbane, Australia where he completed a Doctorate in Tropical Health in 1998 with Distinction, a MBBS in 2005 and MD in 2010 with honours and a Doctorate of Medical Science (DMS) through the University of Queensland in 2017.

Prof Ross has authored and co-authored over 100 international peer-reviewed publications, reviews and book chapters on various aspects of global health, infectious disease control and vaccine development. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, UK and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology in the United Kingdom (FRC. Path), Fellow of the Australian College of Tropical Medicine (FACTM) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health in the United Kingdom (FRSPH). 

Dr Shams El Arifeen was the first director of icddr,b’s late Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, and is now the Senior Director of Maternal and Child Health research. Dr Arifeen is also an acting professor at the James P. Grant School of Public Health at the BRAC University in Bangladesh, where he teaches epidemiology. Dr Arifeen has nearly 25 years of experience in child and neonatal health, health services and health systems research, including nine years in government health services, with a focus on health interventions for developing populations. He also has extensive experience in research and evaluation, with particular expertise in cluster randomized trials, large-scale surveys as well as with community and facility-based evaluations of interventions and programmes, using both experimental and quasi-experimental designs.

Dr Arifeen actively participates in national efforts within Bangladesh to scale up evidence-based neonatal and child health interventions. He currently leads the team assisting the government of Bangladesh and its partners in monitoring and evaluating health services and programmes. He has served on a number of Bangladesh’s technical and advisory committees, including the National Committee on Immunization Practices, Technical Sub-Committee on National Newborn Health Strategy and the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, Urban Health Survey and Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey technical committees. Dr Arifeen contributed to the 2003 Lancet Series on Child Survival and has published more than 140 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. He holds an MBBS and DrPH and is trained in medicine, public health, nutrition and epidemiology.


Professor Daniel D Reidpath has joined icddr,b as Senior Director, Health Systems and Population Studies Division from September 2019. Professor Reidpath (Daniel) has been a public health academic since 1997. He completed his PhD from The University of Western Australia. Before joining icddr,b, he was Professor of Population Health and Head of Public Health at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, where he was also the Director of the South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) an HDSS located in a rural district half-way between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Professor Reidpath has published widely including peer reviewed articles, commissioned reviews, and editorials. He has also published across a wide range of subjects including epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, health policy, medical sociology, health systems, equity, reproductive rights, pregnancy outcomes, dengue surveillance, HIV, non-communicable disease, malnutrition, air pollution and health, and climate change. He has held research funds from the Ford Foundation, the Global Forum for Health Research, TDR/WHO, VicHealth, the Royal Society of Public Health, the National Institute for Health Research UK, the MRC, and the Wellcome Trust.



Mr. Thomas Barry has over 27 years of experience in financial management in the health and research sector. He graduated from University College Dublin, Ireland and began his accounting training with the National Health Service qualifying as a certified chartered accountant (ACCA) UK, now a fellow (FCCA). He also obtained membership as a certified public accountant (CPA). He completed further studies with Edinburgh Business School, and completed his MBA in Strategic Planning in June 2016.

He has worked as a finance director in several research organisations and has managed multiple grants for the EU, USAID, NIH and other donors. He is fully conversant with accounting standards and best practices, analytical with a consistent track record in delivering effective financial solutions.







Barrister Khaja Salauddin Ahmed is the current Head, Regulatory and Legal Affairs at icddr,b. Serving in this official capacity since November, 2018, he is responsible for performing and managing the legal functions of the institution, in accordance with and in support of its business objectives. Prior to being employed as the Head, he also held the positions of Acting Head, R&LA, and Legal Counsel at R&LA, at icddr,b. He is an experienced corporate lawyer with a demonstrated history of working in the law practice industry. He has diverse skills and expertise, ranging across International Law, Development Sector and other Regulatory Compliances matters, Intellectual Property Law, Company Law, Arbitration etc.

Mr. Ahmed’s highest held degree is a Master of Social Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Dhaka. His previous higher education includes an LL. B (Hons.) from the University of London. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and has Accreditation as a Mediator from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, UK. He has completed training in Arbitration from the International Law Institute, Washington, Advanced Course on Patent and a General Course on Intellectual Property from the WIPO Academy, Certificate Courses on USAID Rules and Regulations from Humentum and Management Development Program from IBA, Dhaka.

Mr. Ahmed was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in October 2013. He is also an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.