Staff

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Brian D. Smith
Senior International Adviser
Brian Smith has led WCS’s Asian Coastal Cetacean Program since 2001, conducting cetacean research and conservation projects in countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. In 2006, Brian initiated and since then has continued to lead the WCS Bangladesh Program with strong programs addressing marine and terrestrial conservation issues as well as education and training. Brian also serves as the Asia Coordinator for the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cetacean Specialist Group and is a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy Conservation Committee and the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN SSC Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force.
Dr. Mohammad Zahangir Alom
Country Representative & Senior Manager- Terrestrial Conservation Program
Dr. Mohammad Zahangir Alom joined WCS Bangladesh in 2007 and, since 2018, has served as our Country Representative and Terrestrial Program Manager, which focuses on combatting illegal wildlife trade and conducting SMART wildlife enforcement and monitoring patrols. Zahangir completed his Ph.D. on the ecology and human use characteristics of freshwater dolphin habitat in the Sundarbans. As a member of the SMART Marine and Training Task Forces, Zahangir has provided SMART patrol trainings for Mekong River guards in Cambodia and park rangers in Sri Lanka. He is also a member of the IWC South Asian River Dolphin Task Team and the Zoological Society Bangladesh, and regularly participates as an invited speaker in regional and international conferences and workshops.
Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur
Senior Manager - Marine Conservation Program & Advisor - Educational Outreach Program
Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur co-founded the WCS Bangladesh Country Program in 2006, first serving as manager for our Educational Outreach Program and, since July 2020, as Senior Manager of our Marine Conservation Program. This program works to protect threatened marine megafauna and promote sustainable fisheries for a healthy ocean supporting healthy people. Before co-founding the WCS Bangladesh Program, Elisabeth worked as a nature guide and wildlife photographer and co-authored several books on wildlife and human use in the Sundarbans mangrove forest. In 2008 she was selected as a Kinship Conservation Fellow and trained in market-based tools for conservation and leadership. Elisabeth’s seven years’ experience as an educator, teacher's trainer and principal in Switzerland benefits the WCS Educational Outreach Program in the development of informative and culturally appropriate communication strategies for connecting wildlife conservation with sustainable livelihoods. She is a member of the Society of Marine Mammology Education Committee, Conservation Leadership Program reviewer and a Women in Marine Conservation mentor.
Mohammad Shajahan
Manager - Finance
Mohammad Shajahan joined WCS Bangladesh as Chief Accountant in 2019 and was promoted to Finance Manager in 2020. His key responsibilities are maintaining project accounts, and supporting audits, donor reporting and budgeting. Shajahan has a strong background in accounting, auditing, taxation, budgeting, and financial reporting. Before joining WCS, Shajahan worked as Assistant Manager in the US Bangla Group Accounts and Finance Department. He completed his post-graduation (MBS) from Dhaka College under the National University, completed the Chartered Accountants course, and is currently an Advanced Level student of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
Mohammad Tariqul Islam
Senior Advisor, Combating Wildlife Trade- Terrestrial Conservation Program
Mohammad Tariqul Islam is a highly experienced retired government official from the Forest Department who joined WCS Bangladesh as a Senior Advisor in April 2018. In this role, he liaises with the Forest Department, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and law enforcement agencies to support WCS programs on combatting illegal wildlife trade, improving protection for threatened species, and managing protected areas. From 2005 to 2015, Tariqul was Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests and Conservator of Forests in the Chief Conservator of Forests office in Dhaka. Tariqul Islam has a Bachelor degree of Science in Zoology from Rajshahi University and a Masters of Science degree in Forestry from Chattogram University. He completed his Post Graduation Diploma in Forest Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Throughout his career, Tariqul has attended numerous training courses, workshops and meetings in China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Singapore, France, and Brazil. For ten years, he was also a member of the national team for reactive monitoring missions in the Sundarbans World Heritage Site.
Laskar Muqsudur Rahman
Legal Adviser, Combating Wildlife Trade- Terrestrial Conservation Program
Dr. Laskar Muqsudur Rahman has served as Legal Adviser for WCS Bangladesh since 2019. His core responsibilities are to guide and coordinate interactions with law enforcement agencies to combat illegal wildlife trade and draft proposed revisions to national laws, agency mandates and policies. Dr. Lasker also facilitates programs with high-level and field-level government officers, and supports interagency communication and capacity building. Dr. Laskar has a Ph.D. degree in Forestry from the University of Chattogram, and Master of Science degrees in Environmental Forestry from Wales University, in Forestry from Peshawar University, and in Botany from Dhaka University. Before joining WCS, Dr. Laskar held various senior positions during his 24-year tenure with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and he has engaged in various capacities with several international development organizations.
Nadim Parves
Senior Coordinator - Educational Outreach Program
Nadim Parves first joined WCS Bangladesh in 2017 as a research assistant, participating in marine wildlife surveys. He then joined our Educational Outreach Program as a Program Officer. In 2019, Nadim was promoted to Senior Coordinator of the Educational Outreach Program supporting our terrestrial and marine programs in the development, implementation and evaluation of education and training programs, communication strategies and locally appropriate tools for improved protection of threatened wildlife and wild places. Nadim completed his Master of Science degree in Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation from Jagannath University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. While a student at Jagannath University, Nadim initiated the Bangladesh Chiropteran Diversity Assessment Project, volunteered with the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project, and worked as a Research Assistant for WildTeam in USAID's BAGH Activity Project.
Shamsunnahar Shanta
Coordinator, Marine Policy & Management - Marine Conservation Program
Shanta Shamsunnahar started working with WCS Bangladesh as a student intern during her undergraduate studies. In 2017, she joined WCS Bangladesh as our Marine Protected Area Program Coordinator, which was redefined in 2020 as Marine Policy Coordinator. Shanta engages with small-scale fishers through at-sea fisheries investigations, citizen scientist programs, and consultations in local communities. She communicates with government counterparts on establishing and managing marine protected areas, strengthening the protection of marine wildlife including dolphins, porpoises, whales, shark and rays, and implementing fisheries management that balances wildlife protection with livelihood needs. Shanta completed her Master of Science degree in Fisheries Science from Jagannath University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She was awarded the WCS Christensen Conservation Leaders Scholarship for pursuing a PhD in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University, USA.
G M Masum Billah
Field Coordinator - Marine Conservation Program
G.M. Masum Billah interned with WCS Bangladesh as a research assistant and interpreter for our Educational Outreach Program while completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and Wood Technology at Khulna University. In 2017 he joined WCS Bangladesh as a Program Officer and was promoted to Marine Fisheries Coordinator in 2018, which was redefined in 2020 as Field Coordinator for the Marine Conservation Program. Masum coordinates citizen science networks established among small-scale fishers, and shark and ray data collectors in fish landing site. His insight on sharks and rays support targeted conservation, outreach and policy initiatives. Masum also trains and mentors WCS citizen scientists, and supports community engagement and policy recommendations.
Mohammed Arif Hossain Prodhan
Coordinator, SMART- Terrestrial Conservation Program
Mohammed Arif Hossain Prodhan joined WCS Bangladesh in November 2016 as a Program Officer supporting our work on SMART patrols and wildlife trade. In 2020, Arif was promoted to SMART Coordinator. In this role, Arif provides training and mentoring along with technical support to the Bangladesh Forest Department frontline staff. He contributed to a SMART handbook that provides guidance for conducting systematic law enforcement and wildlife monitoring patrols and using the results for adaptive management. Before joining WCS, Arif worked as Assistant Researcher for the World Bank funded Strengthening Regional Co-operation for Wildlife Protection Project in Kaptai National Park. Arif has a Master of Science degree in Zoology (Wildlife Ecology, Management and Conservation Biology) and a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Zoology from the Jahangirnagar University.

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