U S Rokeya Akhter, PhD
Executive Director

Dr. Rokeya Akhter has been at the forefront of transformative change as the Executive Director of SAIST since 2020, combining her expertise with a role as a National Individual Consultant and Gender Specialist for the SACP Project under the Ministry of Agriculture & IFAD. Her academic journey is marked by a PhD from the University of Dhaka in 2017, following her earlier achievements of a BSS and MSS in Sociology from the same university in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Dr. Akhter's research contributions are both profound and diverse. Her work, including the notable publication "Culture of Arbitrariness in Madrassa" in the SAJSS, reflects her commitment to critical social issues. She has been pivotal in conducting impactful studies, such as the need assessment for SBCC strategy for Nutrition Specific Behaviour Changes in 2019 and coordinating research for the LEAN Project's Baseline study.

Her international presence was highlighted when she presented her research on the rise of agro-industry at the Annual Conference of the Association for South Asian Studies in Toronto, Canada, in 2017. Dr. Akhter has also guided baseline studies for the safety of women and girls in urban areas under Action Aid Bangladesh and contributed to electoral governance research with The Asia Foundation. Dr. Akhter's dedication extends to participating in various professional development programs, enhancing her expertise in nutrition-sensitive training, food security classification, electoral governance, and leadership. Her involvement with international and local bodies, including the Association for Asian Studies and the International Sociological Association, underscores her commitment to societal advancement and gender equality. Dr. Akhter's journey is a testament to her relentless pursuit of knowledge, empowerment, and advocacy, making her a distinguished figure in academic and professional circles.