Asif Saleh was appointed the executive director of BRAC Bangladesh. He brings with him a diverse multi-sectoral experience in senior leadership roles in private, public and non-government sectors with proven track record of effectively managing interfaces of development programming, operational and financial sustainability and building effective partnerships, both within and outside BRAC.
Mr Saleh has been deeply anchored in driving the strategic direction of BRAC. He joined the organisation in 2011, and took up an increasingly important role in leading advocacy for social change, information technology, communications and social innovation. He has been instrumental in BRAC’s concentration on emerging development challenges in the areas of urban poverty, youth skills development, inclusive growth and migration. As the senior director of the empowerment programme cluster, he led BRAC’s new programmatic areas, namely, the urban development programme, human rights and legal aid services, skills development programme and migration programme. He also led the development of BRAC’s five-year strategic plan in 2016.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Saleh worked as a policy specialist for the Access to Information (A2i) Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office. As part of the Government’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, he led the policy effort to expand affordable broadband connectivity across Bangladesh and devised the Government’s m-governance strategy. He was also a key part of the Union Digital Centre team that created digital service centres in every union in Bangladesh. Since then, he has actively promoted the role of technology and frugal innovation in the development sector. He spent 12 years in Goldman Sachs in different fin-tech roles and institutional client sales in New York and London, ending his term there as an Executive Director. He has also worked in Glaxo Wellcome, IBM and Nortel.
Mr Saleh is the founder of Drishtipat, a global organisation with chapters across the globe focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshis. He was recognised for his work by Asia Society’s Asia 21 programme in 2008, the Bangladeshi American Foundation in 2007, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow in 2012. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013.
Mr Saleh is an active member in a range of international networks and alliances, advocating inclusive achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is a member of the Millions Learning International Advisory Group, Brookings Institute, which addresses the question of how to scale quality education for all children and youth. He is also a member of the South Africa-based Innovation Edge, an institution promoting early childhood development.
Mr Saleh chairs BRAC IT Services Limited and is on the Board of BRAC Bank and BRAC Net. He is also a board member of multiple non-profits, such as 1 Degree Initiative, Spreeha, Institute of Informatics and Development, and Maya.
Mr Saleh holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA in management and marketing from the Stern School of Business, New York University.