Hope Over Fate: BRAC, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, and their Lasting Legacy

Author: Czesia Eid

On November 18th, The Pulte Institute for Global Development, in partnership with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, hosted a book talk for “Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty.” The Pulte Institute invited author, and Director of Learning Innovation at BRAC USA, Scott MacMillan, to discuss his book, and the man behind the mission of BRAC, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed himself. Raymond Offenheiser, Director of the Pulte Institute and member of BRAC’s Global Board, offered opening remarks.  

BRAC, formerly known as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, and now as Building Resources Across Communities, is by many measures the largest nongovernmental organization in the world—and by many accounts, the most effective anti-poverty program ever. Started in 1972 by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, BRAC boasts 12 of the largest social enterprises in Bangladesh, works in nine other countries, and manages the world’s largest micro-credit program. 

The talk was followed by a keynote panel with MacMillan, as he was joined onstage by moderator, R. Scott Appleby, Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs, and panelists Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury, Dr. Samia Huq, and Dr. Michael Bowler. All panelists are BRAC and BRAC University affiliates, and interdisciplinary scholars, and were able to enrich the discussion about “Hope Over Fate,” and the impact that BRAC has had over its 50 years of existence. Over 30 people were able to attend the event in-person, with many more joining online. 

As noted by MacMillan, Sir Abed lived his mission until the day he died, fueling sustainable change in his native country of Bangladesh, and eventually, across the globe. To learn more about BRAC, please visit them online at www.brac.net. If you were not able to attend the talk and panel discussion, you can stream it easily from our YouTube channel