BRAC is a development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives. We were founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and over the course of our evolution, established ourselves as a pioneer in recognizing and tackling the many different realities of poverty.
Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programmes that enable men and women to realise their potential.
BRAC believes that poverty is a system and its underlying causes are manifold and interlinked. Some of these linkages are obvious, for example, a day’s wage forgone because of illness or resources lost to a natural disaster. Others play a more indirect role in perpetuating poverty, such as lack of awareness about laws and rights can lead not only to outright exploitation, but also encourage a lack of accountability on the part of the state to cater to its most vulnerable citizens.
In order for the poor to come out of poverty, they must have the tools to fight it across all fronts. We have, therefore, developed support services in the areas of human rights and social empowerment, education and health, economic empowerment and enterprise development, livelihood training, environmental sustainability and disaster preparedness.
We operate social enterprises that are strategically connected to our development programmes, and form crucial value chain linkages which increase the productivity of our members’ assets and labour, and reduce risks of their enterprises. These enterprises, ranging from agriculture to handicrafts, also help to make us increasingly self-reliant.
Gender equality, respect for the environment and inclusivity are themes crosscutting all of our activities.
To ensure that we are always learning and that our work is always relevant, we have put in place training, research and monitoring systems across all our activities and financial checks and balances in the form of audits. As a knowledge centre, we have opened our doors to the wider public in an effort to develop national capacity in Bangladesh through BRAC University.
BRAC's programs touch the lives of more than 138 million women and their families in 10 countries.
Early in her career, Susan M. Davis lived in Bangladesh working with Ford Foundation where she led innovative initiatives aimed at scaling up microfinance institutions that were owned and governed by poor women and promoting social entrepreneurship. She worked with Women’s World Banking, led the Women’s Environment & Development Organization, and advised the head of the ILO. She has been a leadership group member of Ashoka for the last decade and leads its Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship. Susan is also a senior advisor to New York University’s Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship. She is a founding board member and Chair of the Grameen Foundation. She also serves on the boards of Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund, Project Enterprise and Aid to Artisans and the Advisory Council of Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative.
Chair of the Board Lincoln C. Chen
President & CEO Susan M. Davis
Vice Chair & Treasurer Ronald Grzywinski
Secretary Kamal Ahmad
Assistant Secretary& Treasurer Richard A. Cash
Member Christina Leijonhufvud
Member Bridget Liddell
Member Cate Muther
Member Charles Slaughter
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda
110 William Street, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10038
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