Professor Rehman Sobhan is an eminent economist, researcher, political scientist, public intellectual, and freedom fighter of our country. He has a tremendous contribution in upholding the welfare and interests of the average Bangladeshi, especially the poor.
He was born in Calcutta in 1935. He was educated at St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling (1942-50), Aitchison College, Lahore (1951-52), and Cambridge University (1953-56) where he was awarded an MA in Economics. He began his working career on the faculty of Economics, Dhaka University in 1957 and retired as Professor of Economics in 1977. Between 1976 and 1979, he was also a Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, UK.
Through his many books, articles, and speeches, he has contributed to the body of knowledge that has improved our understanding of poverty, the process of economic growth, and the role of power in a society. He was one of those few economists whose ideas influenced the 6-point programme of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which became the basis for the struggle for self-rule for Bangladesh.
Professor Sobhan played an active advocacy role and made many contributions, including serving as Envoy Extraordinary with special responsibility for Economic Affairs (1971), Member of Bangladesh Planning Commission (1972-74), Member of the Advisory Council of the President of Bangladesh in charge of the Ministry of Planning and Economics Relations Division (1991), Founding Chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) since 1993, and as Chairman of the Board of the Grameen Bank (1996-2002).
For his distinguished service to the economics profession and to the nation, Professor Sobhan has received a number of awards including, the Bangladesh Bank Purushkar (2000) for services to the economics profession in Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh Shadinata Purushkar (2008), the highest civil award in Bangladesh.