The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b)'s international Board of Trustees has appointed Dr Tahmeed Ahmed as the new executive director.
Dr Ahmed will take up his appointment on February 1, 2021, succeeding Dr John Clemens who has served as executive director from 2013, said a press release issued by icddr,b on Wednesday.
Dr Ahmed is the first Bangladeshi in the organisation's 60-year history to become Executive Director. Dr Ahmed said "It is an honour to be the first Bangladeshi Executive Director of icddr,b".
"icddr,b is and will remain a truly international organisation. I am proud to lead a team of 4000 staff hailing from all over the world and excited to steer the organisation into the next phase, which I hope will see our research continue to expand" he added.
"Dr Ahmed is an eminent scientist who is well respected within the global public health community", said Nancy Y Cheng, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "I am confident that his leadership will further advance icddr,b standing in public health and bring greater health benefits to people in Bangladesh and world-wide".
Dr Ahmed pledged to make research on Covid-19 a key priority. He commented that the outbreak serves as a strong reminder of the vital importance of investing in scientific research that furthers public health.
A prominent scientist with a distinguished career in public health nutrition, Dr Ahmed has been recognised globally for his research and for his vital contribution to preventing childhood malnutrition and simplifying its treatment.
He is the recipient of a gamut of awards from public health organisations including, among others, the Ambulatory Paediatric Association in USA, the Commonwealth Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and the Indian Paediatric Association.
In 2018, Dr Ahmed was winner of the Islamic Bank Development Transformers' Award, which was presented to him by the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Dr Ahmed joined icddr,b in 1985.
Over time, he has taken on different roles and in December 2015 was appointed Senior Director, Nutrition and Clinical Services Division.
Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Ahmed was named the Acting Executive Director to lead icddr,b on-site under the direction of Dr Clemens who has been overseeing the operations remotely. He is known among his colleagues for his strong work ethics and his care and nurturing of young scientists.