Afsan Chowdhury

Afsan Chowdhury

Professor and Visiting Research Fellow

Professor Afsan Chowdhury, journalist, researcher, author, and liberation war historian, has joined BIGD as a Visiting Research Fellow. He was Senior Adviser, (2012-16) and the Director of Advocacy and Human Rights (2002-07) at BRAC and a faculty of Brac University, BIGD(MDS) course till date.

Chowdhury has five decades of experience in multi-media and is currently a columnist in several outlets. He has worked for the BBC and other outlets, a founding member of the UNB news agency and Dhaka Courier where he is the Editor–at large now. Chowdhury was the Regional Director for South Asia of the Panos Institute in 2001.

An MA in history from Dhaka University, he worked on the 1971 War History Project that published 16 volumes of documents. He set up a People’s History Group that has produced over 15 volumes on the history of 1971 and worked on six more volumes including an encyclopedic history of 1971 are on.

A staffer for UNICEF from 1986 to 1993, his work areas include advocacy, health rights, social communication, AIDS management, gender, child rights, and disaster management. He has worked in Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Turkmenistan. He is the author and co-author of over a hundred project reports and position papers.

Afsan was part of the Village Studies Group Dhaka in the mid-70s led by Prof. Shopon Adnan (BIDS) and worked on rural social mobilization initiatives in BRAC’s TUP programme, His work on 1971 history focuses on the role of Villages in the liberation of Bangladesh. His film work includes 1971 history, women, and climate change.

He was a Short Term Fellow at Oxford University, Research Associate at York University (Canada), and Oak Fellow on International Human Rights at Colby College,(USA) He is an Ashoka Fellow for Life (1998), recipient of the Bangla Academy Award (2018), and BRAC–Samakal Award for his work on genocide in 1971.