Meher Afroze Chumki
State Minister for Women and Children's Affairs
Government of Bangladesh
Meher Afroze Chumki is a three time elected Member of Parliament in Bangladesh. She is also serving her second term as the State Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs. She addresses the issues on the betterment of the capacity of women. She also raises awareness of women on their political rights and self-respect. As a Minister of State for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, she guides and supervises all the activities of this Ministry, Department of Women Affairs, Bangladesh Shishu Academy and Jatiya Mohila Sangstha. Meher Afroze has been elected as Chairperson of Commonwealth Women Affairs Minister’s Association. She is also a member of National Council for Women and Children Development. She is the Chairperson of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on water, sanitation and hygiene. Ms. Chumki is also the Vice-Chairperson of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV/ AIDS, human trafficking and migration. She is the Vice- President of Children Welfare Council. She is also a Member of National AIDS Committee, National Health Policy Committee and World Peace Council. Ms. Chumki is also playing an active role as Convener of the Sub-Committee on Gender Related Issues (Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development). Ms. Chumki is an award recipient from USAID for her Social Work on AIDS.
Ellen O'Kane Tauscher
Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
Honorable Ellen O Tauscher is the independent Chair of Board of Directors of the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety. The coalition of North American apparel companies and retailers, industry associations, and nongovernmental organizations has been established to improve worker safety at Bangladeshi garment factories. Ellen Tauscher is a seven-term member of Congress and has worked for the US Department of State. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as under-secretary of state for arms control and international affairs, serving in the role from 2009-2012. When she returned to the private sector in 2012, she joined Baker Donelson Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, in Washington DC as strategic advisor to clients in national security, defense, transportation, and export control and energy policy areas. Prior to serving in Congress, Tauscher worked in investment banking and the financial industry in various roles for Bache Halsey Stuart Shields, Bear Stearns & Co., Drexel Burnham Lambert and as an officer of the American Stock Exchange. From 1977 to 1980, Tauscher was a member of the New York Stock Exchange representing Bache, Halsey, and Stuart Shields.
Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
Rob Wayss is the Executive Director of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is an independent agreement between more than 180 global companies and 2 global unions and their national garment worker federation affiliates. The Accord is designed to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. The Accord includes independent safety inspections, public reporting of the results of these inspections, and a credible labor-management occupational safety and health committee at every Accord supplier factory. There are approximately 1500 factories producing for the Accord signatory companies in Bangladesh.
Rob has 20 years experience in the US, Europe, Asia, and Central America as a labor and industrial relations practitioner and in promoting fundamental workplace rights. He has performed this work in various capacities with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (AFL-CIO), the US public employee unions (AFSCME), and the International Labour Organization (ILO). He has taught labor relations courses at Empire State College (SUNY). He served as an agricultural extension volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Lesotho, Southern Africa (1991-93). Rob has a Masters degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. He has lived and worked in Bangladesh for more than 7 years.
Vice President BGMEA
Md Shahidullah Azim, Managing Director of Classic Group, has started his career in Ready Made Garments and Clothing business after completion of his Graduation Degree from the University of Dhaka. He also performed Scholarship on Top Management from Tokyo, Japan. He has been working hard with dignity and perseverance to contribute to the development of RMG sector in various capacities. He served as elected Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) for three consecutive terms from 2009 to 2014. Currently he is holding the position of Vice President of BGMEA from March 2013. After Rana Plaza tragedy he has been the main focal point of Accord and Alliance safety programs. He is also member of the Steering Committee of Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PACT) of IFC. Mr Azim is associated with many other multinational trade bodies. He is former Director of Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Director of Bangladesh-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI). Mr. Azim is actively associated with social activities as part of CSR.
Arbitrator and Mediator of Labor Management Disputes
Harvard Law School
Arnold Zack is an Arbitrator and Mediator of over 5,000 Labor Management Disputes since 1957; President of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal; designer of employment dispute resolution systems; member of the Steering Committee for the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague; occasional consultant for the governments of the United States (Department of State, Peace Corps, Department of Labor, Department of Commerce), Australia, Cambodia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Philippines, and South Africa, as well as the International Labor Organization, International Monetary Fund, InterAmerican Development Bank, and UN Development Program. He has also been a Member of Four Presidential Emergency Boards (chair of two).
Thomas A. Kochan
Professor of Management
MIT - Sloan School of Management
Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems, and the Co-Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is entitled, Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families’ Agenda for America (MIT Press, September 2005).
Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin.
Li & Fung (Trading) Ltd.
Rick Darling serves as Executive Director, Government & Public Affairs for Li & Fung Trading, a multi-national consumer goods sourcing company recognized as a leader in design, development, sourcing and distribution with over 300 offices and distribution centers in more than 40 economies. He is a longtime advocate for bringing innovation, creativity and sustainability to the apparel industry and its related supply chain. Rick oversees the company’s government relations, public affairs and supply chain sustainability on global industry and multi-stakeholder initiatives such as improving worker safety in Bangladesh. Rick represents Li & Fung as an Advisor to The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety formed by North America’s major global retailers and, The Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh formed by major European retailers and brands. Prior to Li & Fung, Mr. Darling founded The Millwork Trading Company, which specialized in private label programs for specialty retailers and wholesalers in the U.S. and Japan. Millwork was in joint venture with Li & Fung for 16 years until Li & Fung acquired it in 1998. He then established the LF USA office in 2004 and served as its President until 2013. During that time he expanded the Company’s US brands portfolio and developed its on and off-shore models. Rick has served two consecutive terms as the Chairman for the American Apparel & Footwear Association, is on the Boards of Fashion Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, Fashion Delivers and a member of the Parsons Board of Governors.
Julia K. Hughes
US Fashion Industry Association
Julia K. Hughes is the President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). USFIA represents all segments of the fashion industry, from apparel brands to retailers to service companies. Ms. Hughes represents the interests of textile and apparel importers on trade policy issues to government officials, both in the United States and overseas. She has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch on textile trade issues. Ms. Hughes is also recognized as an expert in textile and apparel issues and is a frequent speaker at international conferences including the Apparel Sourcing Show, MAGIC, Foreign Service Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, Cotton Sourcing Summit, USIA’s Worldnet, the International Textiles and Clothing Bureau, Young Presidents’ Organization, World Trade Organization Beijing International Forum and others. Ms. Hughes also served as the first President of the international Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT). In 1992 she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008 received the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Hughes has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Labor and Employment
Government of Bangladesh
Mikail Shipar has been the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh since February, 2012. He joined the Bangladesh Civil Service, Administration cadre in 1983. He possesses vast experience in administrative duties including Magistrac, Field Administration and also held the post of Director General (Administration) in Prime Minister’s Office. Moreover, he has also experience in diplomatic arena as First Secretary in the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India. He awarded his MS degree in Agricultural Extension from Institute of Post Graduate Studies in Agriculture, Gazipur, Dhaka. He has been graduated from Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensing in 1981. He got training on Agricultural Research Management from Hyderabad, India and Women in Development from AIT, Bangkok. He is now the National Commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts and along with that he holds the position of Chair in Dhaka Women’s College, Uttara, Dhaka.
Dr. David Weil
Expert Industrial and labor relations and supply-chain restructuring
U.S. Department of Labor
David Weil was sworn in as the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of United States Department of Labor on May 5, 2014. Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert in public and labor market policy; regulatory performance; industrial and labor relations; transparency policy; and supply-chain restructuring and its effects. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Weil served as professor of economics and the Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management at Boston University School of Management. He also served as co-director of the Transparency Policy Project at the Ash Institute at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has written three books on labor market policy, including the recently published The Fissured Workplace. He has authored numerous articles and publications in a variety of economics, public policy, management, and industrial relations journals and books, as well as numerous publications in non-academic outlets.
No stranger to the Department’s mission or its work, Dr. Weil has served as an adviser to both the Wage and Hour Division and to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as to a number of other government agencies. He also has served as mediator and adviser in a range of labor union and labor/management settings across the globe. In addition to his work for the Department, his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, among others. Dr. Weil received his B.S. at Cornell University and M.A. and Ph.D. in public policy at Harvard University.
John T. Smith
Adviser & International Co-ordinator Textiles and Garments
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
John Smith has been working with UNIDO as the Long Term Advisor and International Coordinator (LTA/IC) for Textiles and Garment projects in Bangladesh for more than seven years. He is a Chartered Textile Technologist, Companion of the Textile Institute and Fellow of the Textile Institute who has enjoyed a continuous involvement with the Textile and related industries. He is a Certified Management Consultant and Member of the Institute of Management Consultants. His career has included Product and Process Development, Management, Marketing, Research and Consultancy both within the UK and Internationally. For the past twenty four years he has worked around the world as an International consultant –specialising in textile company turn-around management in numerous countries for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The European Union, numerous Governments and Aid Donors in 39 countries from China and Mongolia in the east through to Germany and Switzerland in Europe. He is currently Chairman of International Events and is on the Board and Council of the Textile Institute. He has served on a number of Industrial Committees and Industrial Training Organisations, including Chairman of CATITO the training organisation for the Textile Industry in the UK.
Director General of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
German Federal Government
Ms Susanne Hoffmann is a jurist. From 1986 until 1991, she worked as a lawyer at the Regional Court of Justice of Baden-Baden. In 1992, she joined the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs where she held various positions such as in the areas of European Law, the European Court of Justice as well as ILO and UN affairs. Later on, she was responsible Head of Division for merging the systems of unemployment benefit and social assistance (Labor Market Reform of “Hartz IV”). From 2005 to 2007, Ms Hoffmann served as Counsellor for Labour and Social/ILO Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Germany in Geneva. After her return to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Berlin at the end of 2007, Susanne Hoffmann became Director for International Employment and Social Policy. From May 2010 until August 2013 Ms Hoffmann was Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia of the International Labor Organisation (ILO) in Geneva.
Special Representative for International Labor Affairs
US Department of State
Sarah Fox was appointed Special Representative for International Labor Affairs on February 13, 2015. Ms. Fox leads the Department’s effort to promote workers’ rights and improve economic security and working conditions for workers abroad; liaise with the global labor movement, U.S. and multinational companies, and other stakeholders on these issues; and, support and strengthen the labor diplomacy function at American embassies worldwide. She plays a critical role in ensuring that American foreign policy and programs advance internationally recognized labor rights and improve living standards across the globe. Ms. Fox is internationally recognized for her work on labor issues in the United States and throughout the world.
Prior to her appointment to the State Department, Ms. Fox served as legal counsel to the AFL-CIO and as the AFL-CIO’s representative to the International Labor Organization (ILO). From 2010 to 2015, she was a member of the ILO Governing Body and of its Committee on Freedom of Association. She previously served in government from 1990 to 2000, first as Chief Democratic Labor Counsel to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, on the staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1990-1996), then by appointment of President Clinton as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board (1996-2000). Prior to that, she was counsel to the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union and worked as a reporter at the Courier-Express in Buffalo, NY, where she grew up. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Witness Signatory Accord Bangladesh
Worker Rights Consortium
Scott Nova is the founding Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a non-profit organization that investigates working conditions in factories around the world producing goods for the US market. The WRC promotes compliance with internationally recognized labor standards on behalf of more than 175 universities and colleges and is the only factory monitoring organization operating on a global level that accepts no funding from industry. A public interest advocate for more than twenty years, Nova is a specialist on international trade, labor rights and corporate accountability issues and has written and spoken widely on these subjects.
Anis A. Khan
Managing Director and CEO
Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. Bangladesh
Anis A. Khan (AAK), a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, Bangladesh (IBB) is Managing Director & CEO of Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB), one of Bangladesh’s leading private sector banks, since April 2009. Prior to joining MTB, AAK headed IDLC Finance Limited (IDLC), the country’s largest financial institution (non-banking) for six years, as its CEO & Managing Director. A career banker, Anis earlier served for 21 years, in a multitude of roles, with the then Grindlays Bank p.l.c. and with its successor banks - ANZ Grindlays and Standard Chartered (SCB), both in Bangladesh and abroad (India & the UAE).
AAK has received on job exposure and training on nearly all aspeccts of banking, management and leadership practices in his 33 year banking career. He also has sound knowledge of merrchant banking, stock brokerage services, leasing, factoring, legal and compliance, mergers and acquistions, business process re-engineering and transformation and upgradation of information technology platforms, acquired in Bangladesh, India, UAE, UK, Australia and South Africa. He has also attended an Executive Program in Corporate Governance and Strategic Management at the Haas Business School of the University of Califoria, Berkeley. Anis currrently serves as the Director of Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited (IIDFC), Vice Chairman, Board of Governors of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), Vice President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) and Member of the Board of Governors of the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM).
Journalist - Labor and Workplace
Former reporter of The New York Times
Steven Greenhouse is the former reporter on labor and workplace issues for the New York Times and author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker. His first book, The Big Squeeze is an in-depth account of how American companies have squeezed millions of workers by clamping down on wages, cutting benefits, weakening job security and violating wage and hour laws. Based in New York City, he has covered workplace issues for the Times since late 1995 and is one of the few remaining full-time labor reporters in the country. In that position, he has written about wage trends, labor unions, immigrant workers, child labor, and the way major corporations treat—and mistreat—their workers. He has done investigative exposés about Wal-Mart locking in its workers at night, abysmal housing conditions for the nation’s farm workers, and Toys “R” Us and other companies cheating workers by secretly erasing hours from their time cards. Greenhouse regularly writes about the labor and workplace issues in Bangladesh garment industry
Greenhouse began at the New York Times in September 1983 as a business reporter, covering the steel industry and other basic industries. He next spent two-and-a-half years in Chicago, writing about the Midwest’s economy during a time of plant closings and large-scale layoffs. From 1987 to 1992, he was based in Paris as the newspaper’s European economics correspondent. There he wrote about a range of topics, including the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Western Europe’s welfare state, industrial giants like Nestle and Fiat, French culture, and Poland’s transition from Communism to capitalism. In 1992, he became a correspondent in the Times Washington bureau, covering the Federal Reserve and economic policy and later the State Department and foreign policy. After nearly four years in Washington, he asked to cover labor and workplace issues, largely because he was eager to return to reporting about flesh-and-blood people. He has appeared on National Public Radio, PBS (“The News Hour”), MSNBC, CNN, and the BBC.
Union Leader - President SGSF
Nazma Akter has been fighting to improve rights of women workers for the last 27 years. She is a dynamic speaker with more than 2 decades of organizing experience. She is the President of Sommilito Garments Shomik Federation with currently over 70,000-members and General Secretary and Executive Director of Awaj Foundation, a grassroots NGO delivering training on Bangladeshi labour laws, personal health and hygiene and occupational health and safety to thousands of female garment workers across Dhaka and Chittagong. Her organization also trains thousands of garment workers across Bangladesh on labor laws, negotiating skills, and occupational safety and health.Awaj works to empower women workers by helping them improve their negotiating skills and build a better relationship with managers and the garment in industry of Bangladesh as a whole.
Nazma started working in a garment factory when she was 11 years old alongside her mother, first working as a helper and then later as an operator. Witnessing continual problems and abuses within her work place she decided to stand up and fight for her rights. She first worked with a number of existing trade unions, joining them in worker rallies and campaigns throughout the 1990s. These organizations, overtly political, presented continual barriers and challenges to the organization amongst workers, she therefore decided to push forward and establish her own trade union. The Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, affiliated with IndustriALL of which Nazma is President, now has membership of over 70 thousand women garment workers. Not only does SGSF have a wide membership, but also actively works with its members to ensure their rights in the work place, government and wider society. These include working to raise awareness and change attitudes and prejudices against women, which women engaged in garment production in Bangladesh continue to face. Nazma was also a member of the Minimum wage board since 2006, representing the workers to negotiate for the 2006 minimum wage adjustment.
Chair of the Delegation for South Asia
Jean Lambert, a former teacher from Walthamstow, East London, has been London’s Green MEP since 1999. Jean is one of the UK’s two Green MEPs and one of eight cross party MEPs representing the Greater London region. Jean is uniquely able to bring a radical Green perspective to European debates on issues that matter most to London. Jean is involved with a number of committees in the European Parliament. She is: a member of The Employment and Social Affairs Committee working on issues including immigration, social inclusion, workers’ rights and social security. a substitute member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. Vice President of three cross-party Parliamentary Intergroups including; the Intergroup on Ageing; the Intergroup on Anti-poverty and the Intergroup on Anti-racism and Diversity.
Since her election Jean has developed a close working relationship with community groups, NGO’s, trade unions and policy makers across the capital. By visiting projects, organising and speaking at conferences, responding to public consultations and listening to Londoners’ concerns she has been able to ensure the capitals voice is at the front of European Policy making on key issues ranging from social security and social inclusion to asylum and immigration, from energy and sustainability to human rights and peace. Her special interests include Democracy and Human Rights, Refugee Rights, Anti-discrimination and Social Inclusion and aiding the development of a Green employment strategy. She has also written a book on Green politics, “No Change? No Chance.”
Program Manager - Ready Made Garment Sector
Mr Poutiainen has worked with ILO for 16 years in different functions in Philippines, Switzerland, Cambodia, Thailand and now in Bangladesh. He has been involved in community based development, child labor, indigenous people’s issues, livelihoods promotion and peace and development initiatives. Mr. Poutiainen has in recent years specialized in developing and running efforts aimed at addressing working conditions, labor rights and managing industry improvement processes in the global supply chains. Before moving to Bangladesh in June 2014 Mr. Poutiainen run a large scale ILO program addressing child labor, and forced labor in the shrimp and seafood processing industry in Thailand. He was also in charge of ILO’s flagship Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) program between 2006-2011 aimed at improving working conditions and competitiveness of the export garment industry in Cambodia.
In Bangladesh Mr. Poutiainen leads ILO’s Ready Made Garment initiatives consisting of seven interlinked projects. The Improving Working Conditions in the Ready Made Garment sector project at the heart of the program consists of five components: Building and Fire Safety, Labor Inspection, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), Rehabilitation of victims of Rana Plaza factory collapse and establishment of Better Work Bangladesh program.
Before joining ILO Mr. Poutiainen worked on Baltic Sea Cooperation on environmental protection and promotion of Agenda 21. He has also been involved in marketing of environmental business solutions to Asian Markets. Mr. Poutiainen has a Master’s Degree from France, Aix-Marseille I University and a Lic.Phil Degree from Finland from General History and Social Policy (Advanced Masters).
Americo BEVIGLIA ZAMPETTI
Head of Economic, Trade and Sustainable Development
European Union to the United Nations
Americo BEVIGLIA ZAMPETTI was educated at the University of Rome and The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C., where he studied international economics and international relations. He received his PhD in social sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. In 1999-2000 he was Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. His professional experience includes the Economic Research Department of Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, the Trade Directorate of the OECD, and the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission. Between 2001 and 2006 he was with the United Nations in Geneva. Since 2010 he is Head of the Economic Section at the European Union Delegation to the UN in New York. He has published widely in the area of trade and investment policy.
Supply Chain Finance Expert
IFC - World Bank Group
Farzin Mirmotahari has led IFC’s work on supply chain finance in the garment and textile sector for the last five years. He is a member of Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF), a $500 million joint advisory and investment program that provides short-term financing to SME suppliers of large multi-national buyers. The advisory component of GTSF works directly with suppliers to improve their knowledge of working capital management and facilitate their use of financial products such as supplier finance. Farzin joined IFC's Central and East European Department in 1994 and managed a number of food and beverage supply chain development projects jointly with IFC's investment clients in Russia. From 2003 - 2006 he managed an IFC program in Azerbaijan to increase the participation of local and JV firms in large oil and gas supply chains. This work included the development of financing facilities for suppliers in the country and led to a ten-fold increase in local content. Farzin is a Graduate of Carleton University (Canada) and School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.
Sourcing & Supply Chain Consultant For Apparel/Retail Brands
Sourcing Journal Online
Edward Hertzman received a degree in economics from NYU. Following that, he spent more than a decade working as a high level executive for major sourcing companies all over the world, including Synergies Worldwide and Pearl Global. He has partnered with globally recognized retailers and wholesalers, and has special expertise in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and China. He continues to consult widely on sourcing and supply chain matters. Edward also sits on the Leadership Board for Fashion Delivers, a charitable organization that channels the resources of the fashion industry to those in need. In 2009, in response to a gaping need in the industry, he founded Sourcing Journal Online.With more than 55,000 subscribers, Sourcing Journal Online is the largest trade journal devoted to the sourcing apparel and textile industry supply chain in the world.
Managing Director & CEO
Green Delta Insurance
Farzana Chowdhury is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Green Delta Insurance Company. Farzana, a Monash University’s Business School graduate, has prior to that served the company as its additional Managing Director and Group chief financial officer. She has been in the field of insurance for more than 15 years. During her carrier, Farzana achieved several awards for outstanding contribution including Australian Alumni Excellence Award 2012 Bangladesh of Australian Trade Commission, Professional Excellence and Leadership in Banking and Insurance Sector of Finance Alumni Association of Dhaka in 2011. She also received Begum Rokeya Shinning Personality Award for her contribution to the development of Small & Medium Enterprises in Bangladesh.
Farzana served at BRAC Bank as the Head of SME Banking for about 7 years and had also worked with BRAC Rural Development Program for nearly 5 years as its Regional Manager. In 2006, she attended the International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership program sponsored by US State Department and Fortune 500 companies at Washington DC where had worked with a Fortune 500 company ING Financial Services at Hartford, CT for 3 months.
Retail Council of Canada
Erik Autor is President and CEO of Autor Global Strategies LLC, which he formed in 2013 to provide business consulting services to companies, associations, and governments on public policy advocacy, legal/regulatory, and strategic communications with a focus on international trade/business, corporate social responsibility, transportation/global supply chain management, and customs issues. He is also affiliated as a partner with DC public affairs firm, Total Spectrum Steve Gordon & Associates. From 1998 to 2013, Mr. Autor was Vice President and International Trade Counsel to the National Retail Federation in Washington, DC, where he served as the principal advisor on international trade, customs, international transportation and supply-chain management issues to the world’s largest retail trade association and its member companies in the retail industry. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Autor was International Trade Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; from 1990 to 1992, he was an international trade associate in the Washington, DC office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and from 1988 to 1990, he was a law clerk at the U S. Court of International Trade in New York. Mr. Autor received a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA, a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and two law degrees from Duke University. He is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, and currently resides in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and two sons.
Senior Vice President
Albright Stonebridge Group
Mara M. Burr, Senior Vice President at ASG, leads the firm’s India and South Asia Practice from DC. Ms. Burr brings more than 18 years of experience in international trade and investment issues to the firm. Ms. Burr brings more than 18 years of experience in international trade and investment issues to the firm. Prior to joining, Ms. Burr served as Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs. In this position Ms. Burr was responsible for negotiating trade, investment, and economic policy issues for the 14 countries of South Asia and Central Asia. Ms. Burr led the effort to conclude both the United States-Afghanistan and the United States-Pakistan Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Efforts to Enable the Economic Empowerment of Women and to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship. Ms. Burr served as the lead U.S. official for both MOUs. Ms. Burr was also responsible for concluding and implementing the United States-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA).
From 2004 to 2010, Ms. Burr served as the Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environmental and Natural Resources, where she was the lead environment negotiator for the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, and the U.S. implementation work on the environment chapter of the United States-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Ms. Burr is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, (LL.M., international and comparative law), Hamline University School of Law (J.D.), and the University of St. Thomas (B.A.). She received the Dean’s Certificate from Georgetown and the Distinguished Alumna award from Hamline University School of Law. Ms. Burr is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Alliance Board Adviser
President & CEO - WRAP
Avedis H. Seferian joined WRAP in 2004 and became its President and CEO in April 2012. During his time with WRAP, Mr. Seferian has developed extensive knowledge of social responsibility issues within the highly complex worldwide supply chains of the apparel, textile and footwear sectors. A recognized expert in the area of social compliance and responsible sourcing, he often speaks on topics in this field at different forums around the world, and is on the Board of Advisors of The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Mr. Seferian began his career in the research field, working for a business development organization before migrating over to legal research. Prior to joining WRAP, Mr. Seferian was with a small law firm in Washington, DC. He has also taught in various capacities in the business and legal arenas. He speaks five languages and holds three degrees from three separate continents - a Bachelor’s in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University in India; an MBA from the American University of Armenia; and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center in the United States, where he was a Law Fellow and made the Dean’s List. Mr. Seferian is a member of the Virginia State Bar, as well as the American Bar Association.
Vice President - International Trade
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
Nate Herman joined AAFA in 2001. Mr. Herman manages AAFA’s regulatory and legislative affairs activities, advocating on behalf of, and providing information to, the industry on international trade and corporate social responsibility issues. Mr. Herman also handles product safety, customs, transportation and other technical (slip resistance, safety toe, etc.) issues as well as labeling matters for AAFA's footwear members as co-leader of AAFA's Footwear Team. In addition, Mr. Herman develops all apparel and footwear industry data and statistics as AAFA's resident economist. Prior to joining AAFA, Mr. Herman worked for six years at the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) assisting U.S. firms in entering the global market. Mr. Herman spent the last two years as the Department's industry analyst for the footwear and travel goods industries. Mr. Herman received a Masters of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from the University of Delaware in 1992.
UNIQLO USA and UNIQLO EUROPE
Jean-Emmanuel Shein is the Director CSR for UNIQLO USA and UNIQLO EUROPE. Jean joined Fast Retailing as the first “westerner” in the company in 1997. Since then he has supported the UNIQLO’s growth in the USA and Europe from a branding and marketing perspective as an integral member of the companies launches in the UK, USA, France and Germany. In addition, he has worked as across multiple holding company brands as the director of e-commerce, customer service and showrooms for Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse tam. He changed roles two years ago to help fulfil the company’s mission to change the world through the power of clothing and in his current roles his mission is to bolster staff and company engagement in the communities it does business in and develop positive global and local partnerships that help make the world a better place. Jean is based in New York City.
Professor of Sociology
Shahidur Rahman is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Economics & Social Sciences at BRAC University. Prior to joining BRAC University he worked at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology as a Lecturer. He completed a PhD in Sociology at Monash University, and a BSS and a MSS degree in Sociology from the University of Dhaka. Shahidur is the author of a book titled “Broken promises of globalization: The case of the Bangladesh Garments Industry” published by Lexington Books in January 2014. He has been teaching Sociology of Development, Inequality and Power, Urban Sociology and Introduction to Sociology. His research area includes international migration, gender and urban space, women in labor organization, globalization and garments industry. Shahidur has published papers in academic journals such as South Asia Research by Sage, book chapter in ASAA Women in Asia Series by Rutledge and other national-international journals. He has also presented papers in different international conferences including University of Oxford, Australian National University and World Congress of Sociology organized by International Sociological Association.
Rana Alok Singh
CSR and Social Development Representative
Ethical Trading Initiative - ETI
Rana Alok Singh is the Senior CSR and Social Development professional with around 17 years of experience of working on labour rights and social development issues. Alok has worked with informal sector as well as the formal sector workers with wide range of organisations, including International Trade Unions. His expertise includes organising workers, developing and facilitating training programmes, organisation development, managing CSR projects and facilitating multi-stakeholder groups. He has also carried out several research studies for International Agencies, including ILO. For the last 8 years he has been managing ETI (UK) supported supply chain projects in South Asia. This involves working with International Brands, Government Agencies, Indian Suppliers, Contractors, Trade Unions, NGOs and Community based Organisations and workers. He is currently representing ETI for all its activities in India, including programmes around Sumangali, Natural Stone and Jewellery. Alok is, currently, managing a pilot programme on Business and Human Rights, wherein, he will be working with the Indian Government in developing the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. He is also supporting the ETI teams in the region.
Raymond B. Bizal, P.E.
Southwest Regional Director
National Fire Protection Association
Mr Bizal is the Southwest Regional Director for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In this capacity, he provides outreach to NFPA stakeholders regarding the many activities undertaken by the association. He also supports the adoption and enforcement of NFPA codes and standards, and advocates for fire safety at the local and state legislative levels. Prior to joining NFPA in 2000, Ray spent 12 years with the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and International Fire Code Institute (IFCI), where he served in several positions, including Uniform Fire Code Coordinator and Manager of Code Development. As manager of code development, he was responsible for the development of the Uniform Codes and related documents, as well as ICBO’s participation in the technical development of the ICC’s International Codes and related documents. He also served as staff liaison for the drafting and development of the Wildland Urban Interface Code in the late 1990’s, which was produced through the California State Fire Marshal’s office from a FEMA grant.
With nearly 30 years in the fire protection profession, Ray also worked at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company Fire Department as a fire protection specialist, and Factory Mutual Engineering Association as a loss prevention consultant. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, he is a registered Fire Protection Engineer in California.
Giant Group Bangladesh
Faruque Hassan, Managing Director of Giant Group, started his career in Readymade Garments and Clothing business after completing his Master of Commerce in Management from the University of Dhaka. Mr. Faruque Hassan has completed his SSC and HSC from country’s two leading institutions Residential Model School, Dhaka and Dhaka College. He has been working hard with dignity and perseverance to contribute in the development of RMG sector since beginning in many capacities. He was elected and served as Director, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) for 02 (two) consecutive terms 2001-2002 and 2003-2004. He was also hold the position of elected Vice President of BGMEA for 02 (two) consecutive terms 2009-2010 and 2011-2012. He is actives life Member, Board of Trustees, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology.
Mr Faruque is associated with many other multinational trade bodies. He was also the Senior Vice President of Dutch Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Director of France-Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIFB) and Member of Bangladesh German Chamber of commerce and industry and Swiss-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Faruque is actively associated with Social activities as part of CSR.
Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
Nien-hê Hsieh is an associate professor of business administration and a Marvin Bower Fellow in the General Management Unit. His research concerns ethical issues in business and the responsibilities of global business leaders. Professor Hsieh teaches Leadership and Corporate Accountability to first-year MBA students and to Executive Education participants in the Program for Leadership Development. He joined the faculty from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics and served as co-director of the Wharton Ethics Program.
US Embassy in Dhaka - Bangladesh
Paula Church Albertson currently serves as the Labor Attaché at the US Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh as part of the attaché program of the US Labor Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB). Over the last 15 years, Ms. Albertson has worked at ILAB where she led the team responsible for the investigation of complaints received under the labor chapters of US free trade agreements and helped design and manage technical assistance projects on numerous labor issues including inspection systems, HIV/AIDS workplace programs, and social dialogue. Ms. Albertson also served in Guatemala as Deputy Director of the Continuous Improvement in the Central American Workplace (CIMCAW) project which provided joint workers’ rights trainings for management and workers in apparel factories in Central America, a project built by a partnership of the International Textile Garment Leather Workers Federation, Gap Inc. and Timberland, Social Accountability International and Development Alternatives Inc. She was a fellow on the US House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee staff, served as labor officer in US Embassy Buenos Aires, and worked briefly in the Chairman’s office of the National Labor Relations Board and the Office of United States Trade Representative. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School and prior to law school worked at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
Professor of Sociology
Robert J.S. “Bob” Ross is Research Professor of Sociology and the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise. He is Vice-President of the Sweatfree Purchasing consortium, an organization of nineteen cities and states which are working to remove sweatshop labor from the supply chains of their public purchasing of uniforms. The author of Slaves to Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops, Ross has written extensively on the global apparel industry and labor conditions and workers’ rights in it. His writings on these and other issues have appeared in variety of professional and journalistic sources. In April 2015 Ross traveled to Bangladesh to participate in the commemoration of the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy.
Showkat Aziz Russell
Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association
Showkat Aziz Russell is the Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA). He is the chairman of Amber group and Managing Director and shareholding Director of Partex Group. Concurrently he is the Managing Director of Partex Holdings Ltd, Amber Cotton Mills Ltd, Partex Rotor Mills Ltd, Partex Energy Ltd, Partex Spinning Mills Ltd, Partex Board Mills Ltd. He is the Chairman of Board of Trustees of IBAIS University, member of Board of Governing body of National Institute of Textile training research & design (NITTRAD) and Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. He is the member of REHAB. He is also involved in promoting games and sports of the country and presently is the director of Bangladesh Cricket Board(BCB). He is also the Chairman Football Governing Body and member executive committee of Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd. He played the most instrumental role in establishing Core Banking Software (CBS) in UCB for extending technology based services for its vast clientele including unbanked people of the country through introducing UCASH, mobile banking product of the Bank.He obtained his BBA degree from UK. This visionary personality is making his contribution towards economy by introducing modern technology, innovative ideas, upgraded management system & generating employment in various sectors. He also patronizes different socio cultural organizations in Bangladesh.
Senior Architect - Sanmar Properties Limited
Lecturer - Premier University
Rashed Yousuf is the Senior Architect and head of Department of Design and Development at Sanmar Properties Limited, one of the largest architecture firm in Bangladesh. He is also the Principal Architect and senior member of assessment team at Dawn's Ray Engineering and Management Limited in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Rashed is experienced in architectural and engineering drawings and specifications for conformance with national and international codes and standards, and in preparing comprehensive fire protection and life safety programs for new and existing buildings. Architect Rashed graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and is currently a Lecturer of Department of Architecture at Premier University in Chittagong. He received Structural Fire Safety Training for essential complying with BNBC, Fire Law and Standard of industrial buildings from Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB). He is a professional member of Institute of Architects Bangladesh and enlisted member of Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripokkho (RAJUK) Dhaka.
Jette Steen Knudsen
Professor of International Business
Tufts University - Fletcher School of International Affairs
Jette Steen Knudsen is Associate Professor of International Business and The Shelby Cullom Davis Chair in International Business focusing on sustainability. Her research centers on the interface between government regulation and business actions. She is currently studying the ability of governments in economically advanced industrialized nations to promote social change through regulation of social practices of home country multinationals in developing countries. She is writing a book titled Visible Hands: Government Regulation of Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Business (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press). She has published in journals such as Business and Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Policy and Politics, Political Studies and Regulation and Governance. From 2003-2007 Knudsen headed a government-sponsored think tank, The Copenhagen Centre for CSR. She then served as project leader of a CSR task force for the CEO at Maersk, a shipping, oil and retail conglomerate. Knudsen graduated from MIT in 2001 with a PhD in Political Science. In May 2015 a project by Drusilla Brown, Jette Steen Knudsen and Elizabeth Remick of Tufts University was awarded a ”Tufts Collaborates” Grant to explore a new research project titled “Regulatory Solutions to Improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector: Exploring Effects in US and European Supplier Factories”. The pilot project will be carried out during the summer of 2015.
Executive Director - Institute for South Asia Studies
University of California, Berkeley
Sanchita Saxena is an administrator, author, researcher, consultant, and lecturer with a focus on international development and policy making. Dr. Saxena received her Ph.D. in Political Science (focus on Comparative Political Economy) from UCLA in 2002. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies (ISAS) at UC Berkeley where she is responsible for spearheading new research initiatives, managing multi-year grants (from the Department of Education, Department of State, and Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative), developing programmatic activities, securing funding opportunities through grants, individual, and corporate donors, establishing internal and external partnerships, administering fellowships, disseminating research through articles and reports, overseeing the Institute’s long term strategy, and providing the administrative leadership for the day-to-day operations of the Institute. Dr. Saxena also serves as the Director of the newly established Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies where she is spearheading collaborations for faculty and students between UC Berkeley and universities, private companies, NGOs, and research organizations in Bangladesh.
Dr. Saxena is the author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garment and Textiles Industries (2014, Cambria Press). She has also published several policy and conference reports on the garments and textiles industry, policy reforms, urbanization, and governance and democracy. Her current project focuses on critically analyzing the role that international and domestic NGOs have played in Asia’s development.
Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Harvard Business School
Professor Michael Toffel is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School in the Technology and Operations Management unit. Professor Toffel’s research examines how companies are managing environmental and labor issues in their own operations and in their supply chains. He also studies how government regulations, voluntary programs, and certification standards influence performance environmental, safety, and quality performance. His work ranges from academic articles based on econometric analyses of large datasets to case studies of individual companies. His work has been published in academic journals, newspapers, industry newsletters, and blogs. He is a board member of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS), which promotes high-quality research on corporate sustainability topics from all disciplines. He is an editor at Management Science, serves on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal and Organization Science, and is a member of the Strategy Research Initiative. Professor Toffel received a PhD in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, an MBA and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a BA in Government from Lehigh University. Before becoming an academic, he has worked an environment, health and safety professional in the United States and Southeast Asia.