GlobalWE Connect
Women's Empowerment Fireside Chat Series
Featuring BRAC

This event took place on September 25th, 2021. You can find a recording of the event on our YouTube Channel.

Join Harvard GlobalWE Connect for the first event in its new Women's Empowerment Fireside Chat series, which will feature dialogues with senior leaders of organizations serving women and girls worldwide and the challenges and opportunities they encounter in a rapidly-changing world. 

For the first event in this series, GlobalWE President Sajida Shroff will interview Donella Rapier, CEO of BRAC USA, and Rozina Haque, Program Head of BRAC's Ultra-Poor Graduation Program. The event will be held via Zoom on Saturday September 25th at 11 am ET. 

BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to empower the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings. Founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC now touches the lives of more than 100 million people across 11 countries in Asia and Africa. BRAC takes a holistic approach to alleviating poverty, running programs in education, health care, financial inclusion, youth empowerment, agriculture, and more. In 2020, it was ranked the top NGO in the world by NGO Advisor for the fifth consecutive time.    


Based in New York, BRAC USA is the North American affiliate of BRAC. BRAC USA provides comprehensive support to BRAC around the world by raising awareness about its work to empower people living in poverty in 11 countries and mobilizing resources to support its programs. BRAC USA also works closely with its international counterparts to design and implement cost-effective and evidence-based poverty innovations worldwide. BRAC USA is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Registration is free, with a suggested donation of $10 to support GlobalWE programming. 

GlobalWE Connect is an initiative that connects Harvard University alumni with organizations leading the way globally for women’s empowerment in the arts, social services, education, health, economic development, entrepreneurship, policy, STEM, and other fields. GlobalWE Connect provides a forum for discussion with these organizations and hosts a Women’s Empowerment Expo, which enables these organizations to engage with Harvard University alumni and students as well as professors, staff, and other members of the Harvard University community who seek internship, volunteer, mentorship, career exploration, and charitable giving opportunities.

Meet our Panelists

Donella Rapier, President and CEO of BRAC USA

Donella Rapier is the President and CEO of BRAC USA, the North American affiliate of BRAC, one of the largest humanitarian and development organizations in the world. Founded in Bangladesh, BRAC now reaches more than 100 million people throughout South Asia and Africa. Donella brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in finance, fundraising, and strengthening and scaling nonprofit organizations. Before joining BRAC USA, Donella served as the Chief Development and Administrative Officer at Accion, a pioneer and global leader in microfinance and financial inclusion. Prior to that, she was the Chief Financial Officer at Partners In Health, a global healthcare organization working in remote places where healthcare alternatives are limited or otherwise nonexistent, such as Haiti, Rwanda, and Malawi. Earlier in her career, Donella spent more than a decade in senior leadership roles at Harvard University, including Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development and Chief Financial Officer for Harvard Business School. Donella received her MBA from Harvard Business School and began her career at Price Waterhouse. An outdoor enthusiast, Donella enjoys bicycling, hiking and kayaking. She also serves as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Lake Titus Protective Association in the Adirondacks, where her family vacations. She lives just outside of Boston, MA, with her husband, Andy Pickett, a practicing attorney.


Rozina Haque, Program Head of BRAC's Ultra-Poor Graduation Program

Rozina Haque is the Programme Head of Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme at BRAC. She possess over 18 years of proven experience in international development, focusing on social protection and economic inclusion and built thematic expertise in the areas of climate change adaptation, disability inclusion, humanitarian response, urban and gender. At present, she is leading and providing advanced strategic direction to one of the flagship programmes of BRAC; that aims to eradicate extreme poverty from the country, currently being implemented in 39 high poverty prone and climate vulnerable areas with over 2700 staff. Since its inception, the programme has impacted the lives of approximately 9 million ultra-poor people in Bangladesh. She also plays a significant role in expanding the Graduation approach globally to address the poverty agenda and provided technical assistance to different governments, donors and non-government organisations on economic inclusion initiatives in Uganda, Liberia, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Yemen and Nepal in the areas of proposal development, assessment, programme designing, budgeting, implementation, M&E and capacity development of staff. Ms. Haque holds a Master’s in Development Studies from BRAC University, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from Asian University in Bangladesh.

Meet our Moderator

GlobalWE President Sajida Shroff 

Sajida Hassan Shroff, Chief Execution Officer of Altamont Group (Education Investment and Advisory), is an international educational strategist with over 20 years’ experience. Throughout her career, she has focused on improving education systems and structures to enable positive impact on underserved populations. Sajida is passionate about integrating strategic business practices in knowledge organizations; and committed to contextualizing education so it has enduring influence on communities served. Altamont Group is a boutique education investment & advisory that is focused on innovation in the emerging markets. Altamont Group, under Sajida’s leadership, has invested in diverse brick/mortar as well as technology higher education assets.  In addition, Altamont Group advises numerous governments across the emerging markets regarding Education Innovation through Strategy and Policies that cater to their needs; Education Investment; and Developing Smart Education Cities; advising government, NGO, and corporate entities across five continents, including in the UAE; enabling the alignment of education and business. Sajida is actively engaged in CSR including serving as President of Harvard Global Women’s Empowerment; Past President of Harvard Club of the UAE; Advisor for Aga Khan Education Board; Advisor for Integreat Special Needs Centre; Founder of Canadian Alumni in the UAE; and Advisory Board for e7 Daughters of the Emirates بنات الإمارات (Banat al Emarat); as well as being an Advisor at Harvard Innovation Labs. Sajida has an EdM in Strategy & Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; a MBA in Marketing, Management & Strategy from Emory University; and a BEd and a BA from the University of British Columbia. Sajida is from Kenya and grew up in the UK and Canada.


Event Details

DateSeptember 25th

Time: 11 am ET


Location: Zoom


Other Details


Questions: If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact [email protected].


Views: During our events, we expect our participants to be respectful of one another's opinions and experiences.

The views expressed during our events are solely those of the speaker(s) and participating audience and do not imply endorsement by Harvard GlobalWE and/or Harvard University.


Harvard Alumni For Global Women's Empowerment Harvard GlobalWE is a shared interest group of the Harvard Alumni Association.
We are dedicated to the empowerment of women through education, dialogue and connection among individuals working for women's rights and freedoms worldwide. Harvard GlobalWE does not advocate a specific ideology or political or cultural agenda. We are an inclusive organization with membership open to and comprising all genders.


Membership is free. To become a member of Harvard GlobalWE, please JoinWE. To learn more, please visit our website and our Facebook group.


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