Ejaj Ahmad is a social entrepreneur, and a practitioner and instructor of leadership. He has 10 plus years of experience in the private and non-profit sectors. His passion for leadership development has led him around the world as a speaker and advisor on leadership and entrepreneurship issues. Ejaj is the founder and President of the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute. BYLC aims to create an inclusive, tolerant and just society by training the next generation of home-grown leaders. Since starting BYLC in 2009, he has overseen the organization’s rapid growth—to date, there are 2,000 BYLC alumni, who have logged over 25,000 community service hours, and many of whom have gone on to leadership roles across Bangladesh.
Prior to starting BYLC, he was an economist and entrepreneur in Bangladesh. He worked on economic development projects undertaken by the World Bank, UNDP, and the Bangladesh Government. He also founded an international trading company engaged in the pharmaceutical sector.
Ejaj regularly speaks at global conferences and workshops, most recently in Nairobi, Kyoto, Zhenjiang, and Colombo. in 2014, he was selected by the European Union for their international visitors program in Brussels. He was given the Harvard Kennedy School’s Rising Star Award in 2013 for his entrepreneurial achievements at BYLC. In 2012, he was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society. In 2010, he was featured in The Washington Post’s ‘On Leadership’ Program and selected as a 2010 Global Fellow by the International Youth Foundation in the USA. In 2009, he was profiled as one of Asia’s most promising young leaders and awarded the 2009-2010 Paragon Fellowship by the Foundation of Youth Social Enterprise.
Ejaj received a master’s in public policy from Harvard University yin 2008. While at Harvard, Ejaj studied communication under David Gergen, former White House Adviser to four US Presidents, co-founded Harvard Toastmasters Club, an international club for developing public speaking and leadership skills, and campaigned for President Obama during the primary season. Harvard University selected Ejaj to work as a consultant for the Government of Mexico in March 2007 and he developed a strategic plan for a City Mayor to promote entrepreneurship among university students. In January 2008, Ejaj volunteered for a non-profit in Brazil, researched social and educational challenges faced by underprivileged youth, and wrote his final year policy exercise Oil youth leadership under the supervision of Ronald Heifetz, advisory board member of BYLC and founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. Ejaj studied developmental entrepreneurship at MIT and his team won first prize in the 2007 MITI 00K Executive Summary Contest, a globally recognized business plan competition. In 2007. MIT selected Ejaj to participate in the first Global Science and Technology Leadership Forum in Tokyo, Japan. Ejaj is also an alumnus of the Leadership for the 21st Century program at the Dubai School of Government and the Art and Practice of Leadership Development program at Harvard University.
Ejaj earned his first degree in Economics in 2003 from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and his dissertation was an econometric study on the credit operation of Grameen Bank. While at St. Andrews, he led several cross-campus campaigns and held elected position in the students’ union. In his final year, Ejaj ran to become the first Asian president of the ancient students’ union and came third in a close-run race. The e experience taught him two valuable lessons of leadership—humility and restraint.