Appointment of the next icddr,b Executive Director

Dhaka, September 30, 2020: icddr’b’s international Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Tahmeed Ahmed as the new Executive Director of icddr,b (formerly the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh). Dr Ahmed will take up his appointment on 1 February 2021, succeeding Dr John Clemens who has served as Executive Director from 2013.

Speaking after his appointment, Dr. Ahmed pledged to make research on COVID-19 a key priority. He commented that the outbreak serves as a strong reminder of the vital importance of investing in scientific research that furthers public health. 

A prominent scientist with a distinguished career in public health nutrition, Dr. Ahmed has been recognized globally for his research work and for his vital contribution to preventing childhood malnutrition and simplifying its treatment. He is the recipient of a gamut of awards from public health organizations including, among others, the Ambulatory Paediatric Association in USA, the Commonwealth Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and the Indian Paediatric Association. In 2018, Dr. Ahmed was winner of the Islamic Bank Development Transformers’ Award, which was presented to him by the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Dr. Ahmed is the first Bangladeshi in the organization’s 60-year history to assume the position of Executive Director. “It is an honour to be the first Bangladeshi Executive Director of icddr,b”, said Dr. Ahmed. “icddr,b is and will remain a truly international organization. I am proud to lead a team of 4000 staff hailing from all over the world and excited to steer the organization into the next phase, which I hope will see our research continue to expand”.

Dr. Ahmed joined icddr,b in 1985. Over time, he has taken on different roles and in December 2015 was appointed Senior Director, Nutrition and Clinical Services Division. Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ahmed was named the Acting Executive Director to lead icddr,b on-site under the direction of Dr. Clemens who has been overseeing the operations remotely. He is known among his colleagues for his strong work ethics and his care and nurturing for young scientists.

“Dr. Ahmed is an eminent scientist who is well respected within the global public health community”, said Nancy Y. Cheng, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “I am confident that his leadership will further advance icddr,b standing in public health and bring greater health benefits to people in Bangladesh and world-wide”.