Iqbal Z. Quadir has been articulating, for two decades, the critical role of entrepreneurship and innovations in creating prosperity in low-income countries. In the 1990s, Quadir conceived and organized Grameenphone to provide telephone access to 100 million people living in rural Bangladesh. Grameenphone is now Bangladesh’s leading telecommunications operator providing access to over 35 million subscribers irrespective of their geographic location or economic standing.
From 2001-2004, Quadir taught at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, focusing on the democratizing effects of technologies in low-income countries. He co-founded the journal Innovations (MIT Press) and, in 2005, moved to MIT where he founded the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship in 2007 and is a professor of the practice. Quadir founded Emergence BioEnergy to produce decentralized energy, and recently co-founded Money in Motion to provide mobile phone-based banking services. He sits on the boards of the World Wide Web Foundation and the Global Fairness Initiative.
Quadir holds an MBA and an MA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BS with honors from Swarthmore College. In 2011, he received the honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters from Swarthmore College and Doctor of Science from Case Western Reserve University.
Quadir was a keynote speaker at the 2012 MIT GSW which was hosted in Istanbul, Turkey.