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Muhammad Yunus

AIU is honoured to receive Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank as the first Chancellor of Albukhary International University (AIU) by virtue of his achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. His appointment as the Chancellor of AIU is indeed a manifestation of the Philosophy, Vision and Mission of the University which are geared toward developing future leaders who are adaptable, balanced, well-rounded individuals, willing and able to serve humanity, acting as change agents in respective communities through a social business agenda.

Professor Muhammad Yunus was born on June 28, 1940 in the village of Bathua, in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He pursued higher education at Dhaka University and in 1966 received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, USA, where he received his PhD. in economics in 1970. The following year, Professor Muhammad Yunus became an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Upon his eventual return to Bangladesh, he headed the economics department at Chittagong University, and since then has assumed several academic and administrative duties including Professor of Economics at Chittagong University, Director of the Rural Economics Programme, Chittagong, Deputy Head of Economic Development Division, Planning Commission, and the Cabinet Minister Advisor.

Driven by his personal belief and philanthropic desire to eradicate poverty, Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983. Professor Muhammad Yunus intends to help financially deprived people who are non-traditional borrowers to escape from destitution by providing loans on suitable terms, and by guiding them with financial self-efficiency principles so they can rise out of poverty.

From Dr. Yunus’ personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basketweavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Replicas of the Grameen Bank model operate in more than 100 countries worldwide.The Grameen Bank model has advanced to eradicating poverty through this approach and has spurred other forms of microlending in more than 100 countries worldwide. Today, Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million members and has lent over USD12.5 billion since its inception.

From 1993 to 1995, Professor Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. He has served on the Global Commission of Women’s Health, the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance.From 1993 to 1995, Professor Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. He has served on the Global Commission of Women’s Health, the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance.

Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavors, including the Mohamed Shabdeen Award for Science (1993), Sri Lanka; Humanitarian Award (1993), CARE, USA; World Food Prize (1994), World Food Prize Foundation, USA; lndependence Day Award (1987), Bangladesh’s highest award; King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Award (2000), King Hussien Foundation, Jordan; Volvo Environment Prize (2003), Volvo Environment Prize Foundation, Sweden; Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth (2004), Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan; Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award (2006), Roosevelt Institute of The Netherlands; and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006), Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, Seoul, Korea. He is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation.