Atiur Rahman

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Atiur Rahman
আতিউর রহমান
Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank cropped.jpg
Governor of Bangladesh Bank
In office
1 May 2009 – 15 March 2016[1]
Deputy Md. Abul Quasem
Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan
Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury
Nazneen Sultana
Preceded by Salehuddin Ahmed
Succeeded by Fazle Kabir
Personal details
Born (1951-08-03) 3 August 1951 (age 65)[2]
Jamalpur, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
Spouse(s) Shahana Rahman
Alma mater University of Dhaka
University of London
Profession Economist
Awards Bangla Academy Award (2016)
Website Official website

Atiur Rahman (Bengali: আতিউর রহমান; born 3 August 1951)[2] is a Bangladeshi economist, writer and banker. He served as the 10th Governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. He has also been called "the banker of the poor" for his contribution in developing the Bangladeshi economy.[3] On 15 March 2016, Rahman resigned as the governor of the central bank amid controversy over cyber heist of $100 million foreign reserve.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Rahman was born in a village in Jamalpur district in 1951. His father, who was a landless farmer, had received no schooling in his life. Rahman went to school but had to quit after grade III because of financial conditions.[5]

He was able to resume his education shortly after, taking the final examination for grade VI. After grade VI he wanted to go to a cadet college for a better education. Eventually, he was admitted to Mirzapur Cadet College in grade-VII. A school teacher of the village, Foyez Moulavi, collected charity funds to facilitate his admission. Considering his financial inability, the college authority granted him free tuition. Thus he could continue at the college, where he passed the SSC and HSC examinations, securing positions in the merit list both times.[5]

He earned BSS and MSS degrees in economics from the University of Dhaka.[5] With a Commonwealth scholarship, he went to School of Oriental and African Studies to complete his Ph.D. in 1977.[6] His thesis later came out as a book under the title Peasants and Classes published by the Oxford University Press.[7]


Rahman was a planning officer in the Bangladesh Tourism Corporation in 1975.[2] In 1994, he established a development NGO under the title "Unnayan Samannay". He had worked at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in different capacities for nearly 28 years and retired as Senior Research Fellow on 4 April 2006.[8] He also served as director of the state-owned Sonali Bank,[9] the largest in Bangladesh.[10]

In 2001, government appointed him as the chairman of the board of directors of the Janata Bank,[9] the second-largest in the country.[11] [12] In 2006,[citation needed] he joined the University of Dhaka in the Department of Development Studies as a professor.[13] Also, he served in Mohammed Yunus' National Task Force on Poverty Eradication.[citation needed] He was also involved in the management of a number of socio-cultural organisations including Credit Development Forum, Monajatuddin Smriti Sangsad, Bangladesh Economic Association and Asiatic Society and Bangla Academy.[13] Rahman focused his work in the area of poverty alleviation, engaging in first-hand research to find the causes of poverty and means of remedy. He worked specifically with shoal dwellers and poverty alleviation.[14] On 29 April 2009, Rahman was appointed as the 10th governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country, for a tenure of four years.[15] He assumed the title on 3 May 2009 and was reappointed until July 2016.[14]

Governor of the central bank[edit]

As governor of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, he took steps in developing his country's economy by developing programs such as a women entrepreneur's loan, a loan for landless farmer and special programs around Green Finance.[16] Rahman worked to automate and digitize the banking sector of Bangladesh.[17]

In March 2016, Rahman resigned from his post following the 2016 Bangladesh Bank heist. He submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 15 March 2016. Fazle Kabir was selected as the new governor the same day. Before the resignation was made public, Rahman stated that he would resign for the sake of his country.[1] He returned to his position at the University of Dhaka two days later.[2]


Rahman is a regular newspaper columnist who often writes on poverty, public expenditure, economic development, public welfare and such other socio-economic issues. He has published 45 titles as of 2009, of which 16 are in English and 29 in Bengali. He writes books on different issues but mainly socio-economic for example his recent publication about Rabindranath Tagore's socio-economic thoughts compilation and research. Some of his publications and books are as follows:[18]

Bengali language

  • Tabo Bhovone Tabo Bhovne: Anyaprokash, ISBN 978-984-502-211-8
  • Agami Diner Bangladesh: Ekusa sataker Unnayana Bhabana, Pathak Samabes, ISBN 984-8120-39-4
  • Alo andharer Bangladesh: Manab Unnayaner Sambhabana O Cyalenja, Mawla Bradarsa, ISBN 984-410-337-1
  • Apaunnayan: Samakalin Bangladesher Arthaniti, Samajniti, Pyapirasa, ISBN 984-8065-66-0
  • Asahajoger Dinguli: Muktijuddher Prastutiparba, Sahitya Prokash, ISBN 9844651530
  • Bangladesher Arek Nam: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, Sahitya Prakash, OCLC 755121227
  • Bangladesher Unnayan Kon Pathe, Dipty Prokashony, ISBN 984-806-141-X
  • Bhasha Andolan Theke Muktijuddha: Atiur Rahmaner 7 Ti Grantha Pathaker Samikaran, Riddhi Prakash, ISBN 9843102835
  • Bhashar Larai Bachar Larai, Nawroz Kitab Maha
  • Bangobondhu Sohojpat, Chalochchitra O Prokashona Odhidoptor
  • Janaganer Bajet: Amsagrahanamulaka Pariprekshita, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-28-9
  • Nirbachita Prabandha, Anyaprakash, ISBN 9848684239
  • Muktijuddher Manush: Muktijuddher Swapna,Sahitya Prakash, ISBN 984465128X
  • Susaner Sandhane Anyaprakas, ISBN 984-8682-36-8
  • Svapnera Bangladesh, Khunje Phera, Dipti Prakasani, ISBN 984-8061-28-2
  • Taba Bhubane Taba Vabane: Rabindranather Arthasamajik Vabana-bisayayak Racanasangkalan,Anyaprakash, ISBN 9789845022118
  • Unnayan alap: Arthaniti, Paribesa O Unnayana Bitarka, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-49-1

English language

  • Beel Dakatia: The Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster, University Press, ISBN 984-05-1258-7 (984-05-1258-7)
  • Early Impact of Grameen, a Multi-Dimensional Analysis: Outcome of a BIDS Research Study, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Grameen Trust, ISBN 984-31-1416-7 (984-31-1416-7)
  • Education for Development: Lessons from East Asia for Bangladesh Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 981-230-132-1 (981-230-132-1)
  • Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-346-0 (0-86232-346-0)
  • Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh: Hardcover, Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-345-2 (0-86232-345-2)
  • People's Report, 2002–2003, Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh) Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-0866-8 (984-32-0866-8)
  • People's Report, 2004–2005: Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh)
  • Sustainable Environment Management Programme (Bangladesh), Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-3225-9 (984-32-3225-9)

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Rahman was awarded "Central Banker of the Year 2015" from the Asia-Pacific region, in recognition of his achievement in supporting lending to farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without compromising growth and macroeconomic stability, by the London-based Financial Times owned magazine, The Banker; he was also awarded the Central Bank Governor of the year 2015, Asia by The Emerging Markets Newspaper (UK based financial newspaper of the Euromoney Group).[19][20][21][22]

The British Parliament lauded Rahman for women empowerment on 8 March 2015.[23] Meanwhile, The Banker, a subsidiary monthly of the Financial Times of London, published captioned news with highlighting BB Governor Rahman in People Column of its March 2015 issue under the title "Movers and Shakers". He is the only Bangladeshi who gets the title.

In 2014, he received the GUSI Peace Prize International 2014 for his work in the field of economics focusing on the welfare of poor people.[24] He has also been awarded the "World No-Tobacco Day Award 2012" by the World Health Organization (WHO).[25]

Rahman was also awarded the "Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque" in 2011,[26] the Atish Dipankar Gold Medal in 2000 and the Chandrabati Gold Medal in 2008.[13]

Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala expressed his sincere gratitude to Rahman for extending CSR support towards victims of the disastrous earthquake in Nepal on 7 June 2015.[27]

Rahman received "Dharitri Bangladesh National Award", presented by Dharitri Bangladesh, for the Bengali Year 1421 on 30 December 2015 [28]

Rahman was awarded one of the most prestigious awards of Bangladesh, the Bangla Academy Award in 2016.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Rahman is married to Shahana Rahman. She is a professor of pediatrics at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. They have three daughters.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "$101m heist: Atiur quits as governor of Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur resigns over $81 M heist". The Daily Star. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Atiur Rahman returns to Dhaka University". 16 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Banker of the Poor". Daily Sun. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bangladesh bank boss Atiur Rahman quits over $100m cyber-fraud". BBC News. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  5. ^ a b c Rahman, Sajjadur (4 May 2009). "A humble beginning". The Daily Star. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Atiur Rahman". MIT Legatum Center. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  7. ^ Rahman, Atiur (1987). Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh. Zed Books. ISBN 978-0-86232-345-5. 
  8. ^ "List of Research Staff Movement". Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Dr. Atiur Rahman new Chairman of Janata Bank". The Independent. Dhaka. 2 July 2000. Retrieved 14 July 2007 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). Dr. Atiur Rahman recently taken over as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Janata Bank … . A distinguished economist Dr. Atiur Rahman was a director of Sonali Bank prior to this assignment. 
  10. ^ "Overview of the Bank". Sonali Bank. 2005. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007. Sonali Bank, the largest & leading commercial bank of the country … 
  11. ^ "Overview of the Bank". Janata Bank. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007. Janata Bank, the second largest commercial bank in Bangladesh ... 
  12. ^ "Local budget for health, education proposed". The Independent. Dhaka. 15 October 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2007 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). Senior Research Fellow of BIDS Dr Atiur Rahman … 
  13. ^ a b c "Profile of Dr Atiur Rahman". New Nation. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ a b "Atiur Rahman made 10th BB governor". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 September 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Caplen, Brian (20 February 2015). "Central banks take on development mantle". The Banker. (Registration required (help)). 
  17. ^ Irshad, Shahed (4 August 2015). আমি গরিবের ব্যাংকার, তবে ধনীদের আক্রান্ত করি না [I'm banker to the poor, the rich will not suffer]. (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 6 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Atiur Rahman: used books, rare books and new books @". 
  19. ^ "Atiur Rahman receives Asia's 'Central Banker of the Year' award". 
  20. ^ "Central Bank Governor of the Year, Asia 2015". 
  21. ^ এশিয়ার শ্রেষ্ঠ ব্যাংক গভর্নর ড. আতিউর রহমান [Asia's Best Bank governor said. Atiur Rahman]. (in Bengali). 10 October 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Bangladesh Bank Home". Bangladesh Bank. 
  23. ^ "British Parliament lauds Dr. Atiur Rahman for women empowerment". Atiur Rahman. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  24. ^ "Gusi Peace Prize: Past Laureates". 
  25. ^ "BB chief gets World No-Tobacco Day award". The Daily Star. 31 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Atiur receives Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque". The Daily Star. 8 May 2012. 
  27. ^ ভূমিকম্পে সহায়তায় গভর্নরকে কৃতজ্ঞতা নেপাল প্রধানমন্ত্রীর. ArthoSuchak (in Bengali). 
  28. ^ ধরিত্রীর সম্মাননা পাচ্ছেন আতিউর রহমান [Atiur Rahman Getting the Earth Award]. (in Bengali). 30 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. 
  29. ^ বাংলা একাডেমি সাহিত্য পুরস্কার তুলে দিলেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী [The Prime Minister gave the Academy Award for Bengali literature]. (in Bengali). 1 February 2016. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. 
  30. ^ "Dr. Atiur Rahman". Bangladesh Bank. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Salahuddin Ahmed
Bangladesh Bank Governor
Succeeded by
Fazle Kabir