The U.S. Department of State selected Tanbir ul Islam Siddiqui, a Bangladeshi alumnus of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), as March’s State Alumni Member of the Month. In 2004, Siddiqui participated in a civic education exchange program in the United States. He returned to Bangladesh and refocused his organization, Change Makers, towards youth civic education, becoming a dynamic advocate for the issue throughout his country. He also is an active speaker and moderator for alumni programs, providing mentorship and advice to young alumni. Currently, he is serving as supervisor of the Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative, a winner of ECA’s 2011 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund competition.
Siddiqui’s organization, Change Makers, has partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka’s American Center to carry out numerous civic education programs, including “Road to the White House,” a traveling program that compared the democratic practices of Bangladesh and the United States. His organization convened workshops nationwide on topics related to electoral regulations, democratic practices and institutions, and the U.S. Constitution. In 2010, Siddiqui led a project entitled “American Voices: A Civic Dialogue.” This youth-focused project discussed the American system of government and U.S. foreign policy, lifestyle, culture, and society. Also as part of this project, his organization published a Bangla version of the U.S. Constitution for public distribution. In 2006, with the support of the American Center, Siddiqui organized a nationwide program titled “Institutionalizing Democracy in Bangladesh: A Civic Education Program for High School, College and Madrasa Students of Bangladesh” that brought civic education training and materials to10,000 Bangladeshi youth.
Siddiqui is also deeply involved in several civil society and anti-corruption movements. He is an active member of Transparency International Bangladesh, the Right to Information Forum, the Bangladesh Migration and Development Forum, the National Press Club, and the People’s Forum on Millennium Development Goals. He regularly contributes columns to national dailies and appears on television talk shows as an expert on Bangladesh’s Constitution, civic education, good governance and democracy, human rights, human trafficking and migration, corruption, and politics.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html. Media Contact: Lisa Barton, BackstromLM@state.gov , phone (202) 632-6185.