Dr. Manzoor Ahmed is currently Senior Advisor of the Institute of Educational Development (IED), BRAC University. He was the founding director of Institute of Educational Development (IED) at BRAC University. He is a member of the advisory committee and a former Convener of Education Watch Bangladesh, an independent education research and monitoring organization and the Vice Chair of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE). He is also the chair of the Bangladesh ECD Network (BEN). Dr. Ahmed is a member of the Advisory Board on Early Childhood Programme of the Open Society Institute set up by the Soros Foundation.
Dr Ahmed served in various education and development-related positions in Bangladesh and abroad. He began his professional career at the Institute of Education and Research, Dhaka University and was placed on deputation for a short time with the Ministry of Education of Pakistan as Deputy Education Adviser. He later joined UNICEF in 1978 and served in various senior positions including those of Senior Education Adviser and country Director in Ethiopia, China and Japan.
Dr Ahmed was educated at M.C. College, Sylhet, Dhaka University, American University of Beirut, University of Northern Colorado and Princeton University. He is the author of several books on education and development, published in the United States, and has written numerous journal articles. Dr Ahmed had a leading role in the development and design of the Masters and post-graduate diploma and certificate course in early Childhood Development at IED, BRAC University with the collaboration of Columbia University and Open Society Institute, UK.
Ms. Mahmuda Akhter was the founding Head of ECD Resource Centre at IED, BRAC University from 2005 to 2011. She is also a Member of Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) steering Committee and Member Secretary, Bangladesh ECD Network since 2005.She worked for Plan Bangladesh as ECD Specialist since 1997. She has designed and published about 20 resource books on Child Development.
Ms. Akhter did her honors and masters in science from the University of Dhaka. She received professional courses on child development, special education, speech therapy, English as Second language for children and child-to-child approach from the Southampton University, London University, Society for Rehabilitation and Research of the Handicapped New Delhi. Under her guidance significant number of researches has been conducted in the field of ECD
She had a lead role in designing and developing the Post Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters Degree Program in Early Childhood Development at IED jointly with Columbia University USA and Open Society Institute London. She has been working as faculty in IED,BRAC University since 2008. She is a member of the Committees on formulation of Pre-primary curriculum guideline, ELDS and ECD policy, constituted by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and Ministry of Women and Children Aairs.
Dr. Ananya Raihan is currently the Executive Director of D.Net and Member Secretary of Executive Committee of D.Net. Dr. Raihan completed his MS in Economics (specialization: Economic Cybernetics) in 1990 and was awarded Ph.D. in Economics in 1994 from V.M. Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics, National Academy of Science, Ukraine.
Dr. Raihan started his professional career at Kharkov State University, Ukraine as an Assistant Professor in 1993. He also served as a Research Fellow, at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank in Bangladesh, and immensely contributed at Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) as an Associate Professor and Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) as a consultant. He performed professional work for a number of international and regional organisations including UNCTAD, WTO-ITC, SAARCFINANCE, OXFAM, CENTAD, SAPANA, SCCI, UNESCO and ICTSD. Dr Raihan was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004 in recognition of his contribution as a social innovator in the area of ICT for the rural community.
Dr. Raihan has a diversified research interest which includes access to information and knowledge, international trade, financial sector reform, corporate social responsibility and SME development. He was the founder secretary General of Bangladesh Telecentre Network (BTN), which aims to build up information and knowledge system for the poor and marginalized by 2011 under its Mission 2011.
Mr. Taku Furukawa is an entrepreneur working with strong passion to improve the environment for child and human development. With more than two decades of career in business sector, he has wide experience and a good understanding of finance, business management and entrepreneurship. His mission is to promote innovative ideas and technologies to make significant change for better life in developing world, especially for children.
In 2004, after serving 15 years in commercial banking business, Mr. Furukawa has founded Kite Image Technologies, Ltd. (President: 2004~), a Japanese corporation developing handwriting character recognition technologies. In 2006, Kite has established Kite Educational Design Inc. In 2010, he has established Kite Bangladesh Limited (Chairperson and CEO: 2010~), a joint venture company between Kite and D. Net, with the mission of creating holistic and comprehensive environment for child and human development in Bangladesh. Mr. Furukawa has been also involved in various other organizations to support developing countries. He is visiting faculty at Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo since 2009 and teaching sustainable business in developing countries.
Born in 1966 in Tokyo, Japan, he has Bachelor of Law from University of Kyoto.