Founder and Executive Director
Integrated Development Foundation (IDF)
Mr. Zahirul Alam completed his Master with honours in Economics from the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh in 1975. He started his career with Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus in 1973 while he was student as the founder member-secretary of the Rural Economics Program (REP) of the Department of Economics from where Grameen Bank Model was developed. He left REP in March 1976 to join Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) as Action Research Fellow for a UNPD/FAO action research project on the development of landless poor and the small farmers through microfinance in 1976. He worked in BARD on building a sustainable Microfinance Institution for the poor for about 8 years and then joined ILO in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in March 1984 as a Specialist in Income Distribution and Basic Needs Related Issues and later as Economist in 1989.
He came back Bangladesh in 1992 to work for the poor and disadvantaged people of backward, difficult and un-served areas of Bangladesh and established Integrated Development Foundation (IDF) in the same year which is now not only a leading MFI in Bangladesh, it has also developed a development model for the poor people of hilly, remote and difficult areas. Now he is working as Executive Director at Integrated Development Foundation (IDF). He is also author of many reports, papers and participated in many national and international seminars and workshops.