Tahsinah Ahmed

Executive Director, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC)

Ms. Tahsinah Ahmed, the first Executive Director of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), has the overall responsibility to provide stewardship for BYLC’s growth, and lead BYLC towards the fulfillment of its vision, mission, values and goals (https://bylc.org/).

She has nearly three decades of professional experience in the development sector, serving international development agencies, the UN, national and international non-governmental organizations. She has worked closely with the government, its development partners, the private sector, academic and civil society organizations.

She specializes in the areas Non-Formal Education, Technical Vocational Education & Training, Skills Development, Private Sector Development, Labour Migration, Entrepreneurship Development, Decent Work, Social Inclusion, Gender Empowerment, Organizational and Institutional Development and Management.  Striving to uphold human rights, equity and equality, poverty reduction and gender empowerment initiatives for children, adolescents, youth, adults and especially disadvantaged groups have been the center of her work

She has effectively led some of the most successful youth-serving and workforce focused institutions in Bangladesh, including UCEP Bangladesh where she served as its first female Executive Director.

She established BRAC’s Skills Development Programme (SDP), served as its founder Director, and set up the BRAC Institute of Skills Development (BISD). She supported BRAC to establish the BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC-IED).

She served UNESCO, through which she developed the Life Oriented Education Model and assisted Grameen Bank establish Grameen Shikhkha as a sister organization.

She also served the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) of the Embassy of Switzerland, Save the Children USA and ActionAid Bangladesh.

During her tenure with SDC, she contributed to develop and managed  some of the largest and most significant development projects of the country, including the First Non-Formal Education Project, Post Literacy and Continuing Education for Human Development (PLCEHR)-1, PLCEHR-2, the Skills Development Project, the Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC-1), Skills for Employment Investment Program, Promoting Decent Work through Improved Migration Policy and its Application in Bangladesh, Industry led Apprenticeship Pilot: Centre for Excellence in Leather Skills for Unemployed and Underemployed Labour, A Second Chance Education with Livelihood Skills and Gender Empowerment, Access to Education, Skills Development and Employment for Urban Disadvantaged Children Project, Participatory Learning & Empowerment of Adivasis through Sustainable Education, Quality Education for All Project etc.

During this time, she served as the Ombudsperson, Gender Resource Person and Security Warden of the Embassy.

At the national level, she facilitated to set up institutions like the Bureau of Non-Formal Education the National Skills Development Council Secretariat, and the Informal Sector Industry Skills Council.

She has a remarkable track record to lead donor coordination in Bangladesh. She served as the first national to be elected as Chair of the Local Consultative sub-Group on Education (ELCG). Under the ELCG, she Chaired of the Working Group on the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and served as a member of the Non-Formal Education (NFE) Task Force. She set up the Skills Development Working Group (SDWG), shaped it into a vibrant platform for policy dialogue among all stakeholders, led by the government. She played a key role to develop the Non-Formal Education Policy and the Skills Development Policy, contributed to develop the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Education Policy, the Strategy for Gender Mainstreaming in Technical Vocational Education and the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) Act.

She served the Executive Committee of the NSDC (EC-NSDC) and was a Director of the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF). She served the Literacy and Continuing Education Network Convening Committee and was an active member of the National and Regional Child Labour Networks. She served Sajida Foundation as an Adviser.

At present, she is also a Director of the National Human Resource Development Fund (NHRDF), an Adviser of Generation Unlimited Bangladesh’s Steering Committee, an Adviser of Education Watch, and a Member of the Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training (NORRAG).

Starting her career as a teacher and a transcriber, she completed her Masters from the Department of Public Administration, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She was awarded a certificate of completion for the “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage” Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education, and has completed the Masterclass on Leadership Development from BYLC. She has received several other trainings over her career.