Naila Chowdhury is a leading management professional from Bangladesh, based out of Maryland, USA. She brings 21 years of professional, diversified, multifunctional, global management skills, both in major and startup organizations. Her specialty is creating self-sustaining programs that economically empower girls, women with state-of-the-art technology with financial inclusion solutions. She is an active mentor for Women, Girls and Youth in constructive entrepreneurship, information communication, sustainable technology, global networking and the UN Millennium Development Goals.
She was the first woman director of GrameenPhone Ltd in 1999 and held Acting CEO’s position from time to time in GrameenPhone Ltd. She was part of its growth into the largest GSM mobile operator in Bangladesh. The GrameenPhone’s ‘Village Phone Lady Project’ supported the grassroots women of remote villages as they extended telecom to the rural population. This project earned Professor Muhammad and the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace prize in 2006. This allowed her to work closely with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for 17 years in various organizations of Grameen in various senior positions..
She remains a shareholder in Grameen Solutions Limited. Her professional experience allowed her to join Telenor as a director and Asian synergy expert to replicate Grameen. Her projects exposed her to Telenor projects in Ukraine, Hungary, Thailand, Malaysia, Norway, Denmark, Pakistan and most of Telenor’s new business investments in the Telecom sector. INSEAD has written about her expertise and contribution in their formal report on rapid progress of Telenor in Asia.
She is presently a Technology Advisor via the TPN, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she is one of the founding members & Project Advisor of Fashion 4 Development in New York, as well as a board director of Athgo International, Better World Wireless, Advanced Development for Africa- Zero Mothers Die, a non-profit organization led by Madam Coumba Touré, wife of Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union.
In addition, Naila is founder and chair of TeleConsult Group-Bangladesh, a member of UN Global Compact. She is also founder and chair of Women4Empowerment (W4E), which focuses to empower, nurture, transform and respect Women, Girls and Youth. Her projects are community based wellness programs, empowering women through eco-friendly sustainable modern technology globally including education and health care. W4E also ensure competence and skill development, creating job opportunity for the acid survivors, under-privileged and domestic violence women, girls and youth in Bangladesh. Her focus is to put these women from an extreme low income into a sustainable income bracket and thus empower them economically. She has been involved in global networking, developing teams and providing sustainable technology driven entrepreneurial platforms for young people globally and powering individuals by creating opportunities to self-organize and succeed with minimal resources and options.
She is also Global Ambassador to promote Women Empowerment for Joyful Women Foundation, Kenya led by Her Excellency Rachel Ruto, the present Deputy President’s wife. She is also Co-Chair of Alliance4Empowerment in San Diego, which gives Nano credit to immigrants and works on several projects to eradicate poverty in San Diego. She is also Global Ambassador & Advisor, IMPACTLeadership 21, USA.
Her career began with UNICEF-Bangladesh, and then UK-based Marie Stopes Clinic, focusing on reproductive health. She worked for DHL-Bangladesh, as Head of Service. She was a pioneer in setting up a state-of-the art 24X7 call center at DHL Express in Bangladesh.
She has also worked as an advisor and then director for Aktel-Axiata Bangladesh, reporting to Malaysian Axiata Group. She received WHO’s WHO International professional recognition in 2008 in the U.S., as well as the highest Human Resource Development Award in Bangladesh from the Society for Training & Development, Rapport Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, she has won several prestigious awards for economically empowering women. Naila and the Village Phone site were featured in Michael Palin’s BBC documentary during his visit with the Grameen bank. The BBC team was visiting Bangladesh as part of its 2,000-mile journey from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal to film the documentary. She is globally involved with many social projects in Kenya, UK, Bangladesh and the U.S. She regularly speaks about women empowerment in various foundations and organizations, such as UN Women, UN Global compact-WEP, Israel Mission to United Nations and various education Institutes in USA.
She received her MBA from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. She completed her Masters in Marketing from Bangladesh and obtained Telecommunication Fraud Management Diploma from Cambridge while heading revenue Assurance Division in Grameen Phone Ltd.
Website - women4empowerment.org
Twitter – @nailachow