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A Multitasker: Dilara A Khan

Her big black eyes are so soft and full of emotion that the stare has an immediate affect on you. It is the gesture of someone who knows everything about life. Her gaze tells you immediately 選 care'!

Dilara is unmistakably Bangladeshi because of those penetrating eyes and exquisite facial features. She gives the impression of steely confidence and strength; charm is certainly a major part of her arsenal.

Since childhood Dilara has nurtured dreams of becoming an organizer. She completed her SSC and HSC from Quamrunnesa High School and Begum Badrunnesa College. She obtained scholarships at primary and junior levels and excelled all through her student life. Not only was she good at studies, Dilara was a talented child artist as well.

選 participated in different cultural shows and also in mainstream shows all over the world as a singer and actress from the time I was only four years old,' says Dilara with a smile, continuing, 選 was one of the 120 delegates who in the made 80's represented our country at the Children International Summer Village (CISV) Camp in Denmark'. Turning nostalgic Dilara says. 選 was only in the 6th grade then and it was a 40-day camp without parents or any relatives. I guess my confidence and organizing capacity matured during the stay.' By the time Dilara was in 8th grade, she completed vocal music course from Chayanaut in Nazrul Geeti. She fondly remembers her teachers: Mujibur Rahman, Ustad Ful Muhammad, Ustad Naryan Chandra Boshak, Mr. Shohorab Hussain and Ustad Sanjib Dey.

Today she is the Prinipal and Co-Founder of the School of Performing Arts, New York. It is a non-profit cultural organization for 2nd generation youngsters to let them know more about their culture and the country of their origin. It offers classes in Bengali Language and literature, Indian traditional vocal music, dance, musical instruments and so on.

Dilara is also the founder member, former president and current alumnus of the student organization for Business Ethics and Research, (SOBER), at School of Business, State University of New York. She used to lead the SOBER team and helped them organize important events. She had communicated and coordinated with various professional entities and organizations which addressed and promoted the subject of professional conduct and business ethics.

選 grew up organizing programmers', says Dilara. A former student of the BUET, Civil Engineering Department, she was responsible for organizing most of the cultural activities of her institution at one point. 羨 the end of the 2nd year I left the country for higher education. I transferred to electrical engineering at the Sate University of New York. At the same time I joined IBM, which paid my tuition fees.' Dilara proudly recalls, 選 did not have to take a single penny from my parents and I financed my education myself.' Dilara continues 選 joined IBM first with the Production Team, then became a Research Assistant for it and one semester before my graduation I was made an Engineer in IBM.' After completing her MBA from the State University of New York in 2005, she joined the Mid Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (MHVFCU) as a Vice President Trainee.

Dilara has won a number of awards. Among them are: proclamation awarded by the New York City Council for providing excellent services to the Bangladeshi Community for helping build a better New York; proclamation awarded by the Queens Council member's office for providing outstanding services and effective leadership in the Bangladeshi Community in Queens; Honour certificate granted by the New York City Council for excellent leadership of the Bangladeshi Community.

Presently, Dilara is teaching in the School of Business of North South University as a lecturer, and she is also the Chief Executive Officer of Prothom Alo Jobs. Most importantly she is the Founder Member of ScholarsBangladesh.com, a database on Bangladeshi scholars and professionals around the world Dilara with her husband Mr. M E Chowdhury Shameem, the founder and President of SholarsBangladesh.com organized the first non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB/PBO) conference held in Dhaka Sheraton Hotel from December 27 to 29, 2007.

Dilara notes 糎e wanted to do something of this sort for a long time. India adopted such a strategy with its NRI programme; Malaysia too has established a very successful programme to bring its scholars and professionals back. We also want our NRBs to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the country. You may describe it as reversing the brain drain and turning it into brain regain. Today our database has information about 21,000 Bangladeshi scholars and professionals living across the world. And we hope that within a decade a bridge will be created between NRB experts and policy makers which will help them to take proper action to formulate and implement effective policies for the overall development of Bangladesh and that Bangladesh will reach a new height of growth and prosperity in no time with their help.

The effect of those words is electric and because of her iron will, Dilara is sure to achieve all these dreams and introduce innovative ideas to drive our country forward!

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