PRESS RELEASE July 6, 2021

BRAC International welcomes Shameran Abed as its new Executive Director

Shameran Abed has been appointed the new Executive Director of BRAC International (BI), one of the leading development organisations in the world, with effect from August 1, 2021.

As Executive Director, Shameran will oversee and guide BI’s strategies, programmes and organisational development for scaled impact and sustainable growth, contributing to BRAC’s Global Strategy to reach 250 million disadvantaged women (and their dependents), youth, and people living in poverty by 2030. He will also continue to lead BI’s microfinance operations and oversee the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI).

“The Board of BRAC International is confident that Shameran is the right person to steer BI at this time, driving innovation and positive transformation while ensuring continuity. We believe Shameran’s extensive experience at BRAC and his strong strategic and collaborative skills will help us to further align our goals and objectives to achieve the vision of our late founder, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, to make BRAC a global force for poverty eradication and empowerment of the poor,” said Irene Khan, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Stichting BRAC International.

Shameran joined BRAC Bangladesh in 2009 and BRAC International in 2012, and has been instrumental in bringing BRAC’s flagship programmes of microfinance and ultra-poor graduation to global scale. Under his leadership, BI’s microfinance portfolio has seen impressive growth and a renewed focus on client impact. Since 2016, Shameran has also led BRAC’s ultra-poor graduation work and played an instrumental role in setting up the UPGI to spearhead global advocacy and provide technical assistance to governments and other organisations.

Shameran also comes with significant Board experience on several non-profit and corporate entities, including the boards of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), BRAC Bank and bKash.

“As we confront unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, we are reminded once again of the urgent need to build resilience and create sustainable pathways out of poverty for the world’s most marginalised,” commented Shameran. “BRAC holds a truly unique position, as an organisation from and for the Global South, to continue to demonstrate the same commitment and tenacity in designing and delivering practical, scalable, community-led solutions as we have done for almost 50 years. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead BRAC International at this critical juncture, working alongside thousands of fearless co-workers and with millions of programme participants, whose courage and enterprise inspire us every day to accelerate and further amplify our impact.”

Shameran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Hamilton College in the United States and is a qualified Barrister in the UK.

Shameran succeeds BI’s current Executive Director, Dr. Muhammad Musa, who will step down on July 31.

About BRAC:

Born in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC is an international development organisation that partners with 100 million people globally, building sustainable opportunities for marginalised people and communities to realise their potential. BRAC’s proven pragmatism and creative bravery is reflected in its unique and integrated development approach comprising social development programmes, humanitarian response, social enterprises, investments and a university. BRAC currently operates in 11 countries in Asia and Africa and has been awarded as the world’s number 1 non-governmental organisation for the fifth consecutive year in 2020 by Geneva based independent media organisation NGO Advisor.

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People reached through our programmes across Asia and Africa


Young people empowered to build their lives


People graduating out of extreme poverty


people transforming their lives with small loans


BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative

Scaling a Proven Solution to End Extreme Poverty

In 2002 BRAC pioneered the Graduation approach – a holistic sequence of interventions that helps people escape the poverty trap for good.

BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative scales Graduation through governments worldwide to help 21 million more people escape extreme poverty by 2026.


With lockdowns continuing to wreak havoc on the extreme poor populations in the Philippines, the Graduation pilot running there has shown great results in building the resilience and security for participants and their families.

When Jenalyn Dizon, a mother of five, joined the Graduation Pilot in 2018, she was not prepared to overcome the severe disruption and devastation that would be brought about by COVID-19.

Yet, two years after the pilot started, when the lockdowns and travel restrictions were enforced to prevent further spread of COVID-19, and the survival of her family and neighbours were put at great risk, Jenalyn was able to withstand the shock.

Brac Coping and Recovery During COVID-19 Crisis


Livelihoods, Coping and Recovery During COVID-19 Crisis

The initial panic of COVID-19 in early 2020 has given way to a broader realization that the pandemic is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Policy and social attitudes too have had to adjust with a shift of perspective from ‘life versus livelihoods’—centred on lockdown—to one of ‘life and livelihoods’—centred on the resumption with economic activities albeit with safety measures.


Worldwide, over 700 million people experience extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 per day.

Extreme poverty disproportionately affects women, who often lack the resources, skills, and opportunities they need to escape the poverty trap.

Holistic support empowers people to forge a pathway out of extreme poverty.

BRAC’s flagship Ultra-Poor Graduation approach instills hope and provides the knowledge and tools to enable people to chart a pathway out of poverty.

climate change adaptation

Our work protects resources, improves quality of life and builds awareness about the changing environment in rural and urban communities.

We provide people with access to the tools and knowledge to adapt and respond to adverse climatic impacts and adopt sustainable practices to combat pending climatic impacts.

Brac Climate Change Adaptation
Brac Education For All

education for all

Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn. That’s why we serve more than a million children in the most vulnerable communities with quality education.

To spark potential and power children to succeed, our cradle-to-career approach involves early childhood education programs, low-cost and high-quality primary schools, scholarships for secondary and tertiary education, and vocational and skills training.

We work in countries where nearly 50% of the world’s out-of-school children reside. Our holistic educational approach supports governments to achieve national and international commitments in education.


BRAC is the worlds' largest southern based development organization.

Today, we reach 100 million people in 11 countries across Asia and Africa.

Brac reaches 100 million people in 11 countries
Brac story Sir Fazle Hasan Abed


In 1972, Bangladesh’s war of independence followed by a massive cyclone left the country devastated.

BRAC’s founder and Bangladeshi native, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was moved by the state of his country, quit his job and used his business acumen to start a relief operation.

Within less than a year, BRAC rebuilt thousands of homes, hundreds of fishing boats, and oversaw the opening of medical centers.