July 17, 2024, 4:44 pm

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

2024-04-18 12:13:38 BdST

Learning from Dr. Jamila's leadershipBe open, be generous and make room for others to lead

Just like a queen she entered in the hall room, along with Ministers, UN officials, University president and others, around 1500 guests from 69 countries and thousands of students, all we are standing ovation, giving respect. She is Dr Jemilah Mahmud.

At present she is the Executive Director of Institute of Planetary Health, Sunway University, Malaysia. Now spearheading the Planetary Health Alliance / the movement.

The movement of reinventing our relationship with nature for sustainability and regeneration of our nature / mother earth for our future generation.

May be in 1997 Monica Balagescu from HAP International Geneva came in Bangladesh to promote accountability to the affected population, it was after a cyclone.

She motivated me to join in HAP Board in Geneva, along with her, Dr Jamie, Kathrin Samara and Smruti all motivated me to join as the board should not be a club of international agency leaders.

I meet Jamilah there, immediately she picked me in ADRRN, invited to me a meeting in Bangkok to decide principle of partnership and again in Geneva. As because of her insistence I have continued as board member in HAP for two term and after three years break while HAP, People in Aid amalgamated and core humanitarian standard reformulated, again I have elected in the board of CHS Alliance.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon chosen Jemilah to the Executive Director for World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) may be in 2014, she gave tremendous effort, he picked person like me, Degan Ali, Smruti, Manu Gupta, Amjad and others for participation in all most all the regional and glbal conferences WHS.

Finally, the Grand Bargain Charter has adopted in Istanbul in May 2016. Then Jemilah has been appointed as Assistant Secretary General of IFRC based in Geneva. She leads the localization project funded by EU. I used to visit her residence in Geneva, she used to drive car in the Geneva street.

During 2017 – 2018 while we in Coxsbazar having series public seminar for Grand Bargain and localization, one of the international agencies chief wrote a letter to her, it was a one and half page letter, that I am creating nuisance in Coxsbazar and obstructing international agencies. Jemilah was advising me to a bit slow but give encouragement to continue with positive engagement.

From Coxsbazar with recommendations from her, I took Morshed Bhai to Geneva and Jakarta, as she wants to promote local civil society leaders. Meantime she got several prizes for her tireless effort for humanitarianism, especially from Qatar Charity.

She was the founder of Marcy Malaysia, once we / COAST was invited to review the organization whether and how they can get certification in Accountability and Quality Management. She always gives example of COAST, ie, during HAP period COAST is the only southern organization received certification without any corrective suggestions.

Jemilah knows people across the world who can mobilize others and committed, still some of the staff are they’re with her, who have been working with him in OCHA and IFRC.

Very recently she connected me again. She is the selected Eminent Person for Grand Bargain 2.0. Once I was meeting him in Brussels requesting her to promote one of my fellow global activists, she denied, as she considered him, not secular.

On another occasions, I have requested her to promote another one global activist, she said that the person do nagging, to her the person is poisonous. What I learned from her behaviors, she picked and give space to other leaders, she is a well-respected Muslim lady like Amina Mahmud, but she is by speech and by practice is most secular.

She does not like nagging, and she never take retaliation. Once we have prompted her to compete in an election in a board of a Geneva based NGO alliances, she lost, and we know why she lost and who have had worked against her. She could have taken retaliation, but she has not done it, rather she maintains a good relation and promoted the person.

Salute Jamilah, we / I have a lot of learning from your leadership approach.

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