Executive Secretary's Seminar Series on "Empowerment, Governance and Poverty Eradication in South Asia" by Prof. Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka and Prof. Rounaq Jahan, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, New York

1 Jul 2009
Bangkok, Thailand

This seminar on empowerment, governance and poverty eradication in South Asia was delivered by Professor Rehman Sobhan, Professor of Economics, Dhaka University. He was also a Member, Bangladesh Planning Commission, Director General, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Visiting Fellow, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, Member, of the Advisory Council of the President of Bangladesh, Founder and Executive Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Executive Director, South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), Visiting Scholar, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, Senior Research Fellow, Ash Institute of Democratic Governance, Harvard University and is currently Chairman, CPD.

Professor Sobhan has held a number of important professional positions which include President, Bangladesh Economic Association, Member, U.N. Committee for Development Planning, Member, Governing Council of the U.N. University, Tokyo, Member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva, Member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, Member of the Group of Emminent Persons appointed by the SAARC Heads of State to review the future of SAARC and Chairman of the Board of Grameen Bank. He is currently a member of the Board of SACEPS, and Chairman of the Pratichi Trust (Bangladesh) set up by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.

He has published a large number of books, research monographs and articles published in professional journals, relating to the political economy of development, public enterprise and privatization, foreign aid, petropolitics, agrarian reform, regional cooperation in South Asia, democracy and governance. He is currently working on the issue of poverty and injustice in South Asia .

Rounaq Jahan is a Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor, International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University , New York , USA . She obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, USA. She was a Professor of Political Science at Dhaka University, Bangladesh (1970-1982); Coordinator of the Women in Development Programme at UN Asia-Pacific Development Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1982-84); and Head of the Programme on Rural Women at the International Labour Office, Geneva, Switzerland (1985-89). Professor Jahan is the author of several books and numerous articles. Her publications include: Bangladesh Politics, Dhaka: University Press Ltd., 2005; Bangladesh: Promise and Performance (editor), London Zed Books, 2000; The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development, London, Zed Books, 1995; Bangladesh Politics: Problems and Issues, Dhaka: University Press Ltd., 1980; Women and Development: Perspectives from South and South East Asia (co- editor), Dhaka, Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs, 1979; and Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, New York: Columbia University Press, 1972. In addition to academia, Professor Jahan is involved with the work of many civil society organizations. She is the founder of Women for Women, a research and study group in Bangladesh. She serves on the advisory board of Human Rights Watch: Asia and is the Convenor of the Advisory Board of Bangladesh Health Watch , a civil society network. She lives and works both in Bangladesh and the USA.