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Dr. Rubana Huq, Poet and Business Leader, named as AUW Vice Chancellor, effective February 15, 2022

Posted on February 15, 2022

Written by AUW

Chattogram, Bangladesh, February 15, 2022 – The Board of Trustees of the Asian University for Women (AUW) appointed Dr. Rubana Huq as the Vice Chancellor of the University.  Dr. Huq who earned wide prominence as the first female president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), is a published poet who earned her PhD in Literature from India’s Jadavpur University.  Dr. Huq has been a trustee of AUW and, was more recently, elected as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  She was instrumental in launching AUW’s Pathways for Promise program that enables exceptionally talented workers from Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) factories to enroll at AUW.  She was named as one of BBC’s top 100 women in the world in 2013 and again in 2014.  Dr. Huq is currently also a Visiting Fellow at the Stern School of Business at New York University and the Asia Center at Harvard University.

In announcing Dr. Huq’s appointment, Dr. Dipu Moni, the Hon’ble Minister of Education of Bangladesh and Chair of the AUW Board of Trustees commented: “In Dr. Rubana Huq, the trustees found an exemplary leader and administrator to lead AUW to its next stage of development.  She will bring the high intellectual qualities that make AUW a special place but also the fine managerial and financial acumen that AUW needs in constructing its new campus in Chittagong and stabilizing its finances to make the institution sustainable over the long run.”

While accepting the appointment, the incoming Vice Chancellor Dr. Rubana Huq said: “To me, AUW has always been a symbol of creativity and ingenuity. The institution’s unassailable commitment to both scholarship and education, the caliber of the faculty, and the spirit of the students from all over Asia make AUW unique. With the talent and the values we have, backed by the vision of the Founder, Kamal Ahmad and the guidance of the Chair, Dr. Dipu Moni and other trustees, I am convinced that we will emerge as a symbol of ultimate meritocracy with the aspiration to be better every day. ”

Dr. Huq succeeds noted political scientist Professor Nirmala Rao who retired from AUW after serving as AUW’s Vice Chancellor for five years.  In acknowledgment of Professor Rao’s service to AUW, Minister Dr. Dipu Moni said that “AUW was fortunate to have the benefit of Professor Rao’s leadership in directing the University for five years.  Professor Rao brought to AUW her wide global experience in higher education to help shape AUW as a regional center of excellence.  We owe a huge debt to Professor Rao for her contributions to AUW.”

Dr. Huq will be supported on the academic programs by two deans:  Dr. Beena Khurana, a cognitive psychologist with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley who had previously been on the faculty of Cornell and Sussex Universities as well as at California Polytechnic where she directed the MBA Program and Dr. David Taylor, a historian of South Asia who served as Pro Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) as well as Vice Provost and Interim Provost of the Aga Khan University in Pakistan.

About Asian University for Women (AUW):

Founded in 2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, AUW is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women’s education and leadership development through liberal arts and sciences education.  It is international in outlook but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Chartered by the Parliament of Bangladesh, AUW exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from across the region. It seeks out women who show significant academic achievement and potential, demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice, and are empathic to the woes of other people.

1160 students from 17 countries currently attend AUW: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and Yemen. More than 85% of AUW students are on full or near-full scholarships funded by supporters from around the world. The University has graduated over a thousand students to date. A majority of AUW graduates secure employment in the private and public sectors in their home countries while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies at other institutions of higher learning including Oxford, Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Brandeis and Tufts, among others. To learn more about Asian University for Women, please visit