Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Professor Abdul Mannan completed his early Education from the St. Placid’s High School (Established in 1853), Chittagong, Government College of Commerce, and University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Later he completed his graduate and post graduate studies from the University of Hawaii and the Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA, under the East West Center, US Government Fellowship in 1978. Throughout his academic career he passed all his examinations with extraordinary distinction, always occupying the top position in his class. Later on he attended the Ohio State University and London School of Economics under a World Bank Fellowship and participated in courses relating International Business. In 1992 Professor Mannan attended a short course on International Business offered by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Netherlands. In 2005
Professor Mannan attended a month long short course on managing developing economy organized by Salzburg Seminar in Austria. Salzburg Seminar is a US Government funded program.
Professor Mannan joined the Business School of the University of Chittagong as a Lecturer in 1973. Later he served as the Chairman of the Department of Management and Dean of the Business School in the same University. During his tenure as the Dean of the Business School he introduced the BBA program at Chittagong University and incidentally this was the first program of its kind in this region. He also served as the member of the University Syndicate, Senate, Academic Council, and Board of Advanced Studies and edited the Business School Journal from 1987 to 1989. In 1984 the Chittagong University administration appointed him the Director of Bureau of Business Research in which capacity he served for three consequitive terms (1984-93). As recognition of his contribution in Business Education in Bangladesh, Professor Abdul Mannan was appointed the Co-Project Coordinator, Bangladesh Management Education and Training Project (BMETP) of the World Bank for a five year term in 1984. In 1997 the Government of Bangladesh appointed Professor Abdul Mannan a member of the Dhaka University Senate. He was also awarded fellowship by the British Council to attend workshop on Management of Universities at Critical Times in 1999. The weeklong workshop was held in the University of Chester, England. On November 6, 1996 he was appointed the Vice-chancellor of Chittagong University by the then Chancellor (Prime Minister He served in this position till February 13, 2001. He was elected as the Chairman of the Association of Universities of Bangladesh and the Standing Committee of the Vice-chancellors (1997-99). During this period Professor Mannan also served as the Executive Committee and Council Member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, London.
In 1997 Professor Mannan was appointed a Part Time Member of the Bangladesh University Grants Commission and a Member of the Steering Committee of Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO. He served as a member in the National Education Commission (Prof. Shamsul Hoque Commission) during 1998 and 1999. When the Association of Management Development Institution (AMDISA) was established in 1988 he was one of the co-founder and became a member of the Board of Directors in 1991, from 1989 to 2 012 he also served as the member of the Editorial Board of the South Asian Journal of Management, published by AMDISA. AMDISA is a SAARC affiliated body committed to the development of management education in the region having its permanent Secretariat at Hyderabad, India. Currently he is a member of the South Asian Quality Assurance System (SAQS) of AMDISA. He was also an ex-officio member of the Board of Governors, South Asian University, New Delhi (2015-19). Professor Mannan was appointed the 12th Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) by the President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Chancellor of the Universities of Bangladesh for a four year term beginning May 8, 2015. UGC is the apex body that monitors the development of and quality enhancement of higher education in Bangladesh. It is a statutory body created by the Government of Bangladesh in 1973 through a Special Presidential Order. As recognition to his contribution to education he was awarded the prestigious Mercantile Bank Gold Medal in 2012 and UNESCO Medal for his contribution in the field of education in Bangladesh in same year. In December of 2015 the American Alumni Association of Bangladesh recognized the contribution of Professor Mannan in the field of education by awarding him the Distinguished Alumni Award for Academic Excellence. In January of 2016 the Australian Association of Business Leadership awarded him a special award for his contribution in development of Higher Education in Bangladesh. MTG-Global, an International Think Tank of Management Educators, Headquartered in India, honoured Professor Mannan, in their Annual Convention held on September 15-16 at Bangalore, with the distinguished ‘MTC Global Rooshikumar Pandya Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution in the field of Management Education and also invited him to be Chief Guest and deliver a key-note address in the inaugural session of the Convention. Recently the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya, India conferred Professor Mannan an Honorary D.Litt Degree for this contribution in Higher Education in the region. He was also a member of Managing Committee of Climate Change fund of the Ministry of Environment, Government of Bangladesh. The Committee administered funds allocated by the World Bank and other international agencies for the management of climate change effects in Bangladesh. Currently he is the Vice-Chairman of Institute of Conflict, Law & Development Studies (ICLDS), a think tank devoted to peace, security, regional co-operation and development.
Professor Mannan has published extensively research articles in national and international journals and so far has published thirteen books on contemporary political affairs and issues relating to education and co-authored four other books on business cases and marketing funded by the World Bank and published by the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh. He participated in innumerable national and international conferences and is a widely travelled person. Professor Mannan’s area of research interest includes International Business, Globalization, Current Affairs, Political Economy and Strategies used by global corporations to enter new markets.
Professor Mannan took an early retirement from the University of Chittagong in 2005 and was appointed as an Advisor to the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), a leading private university of the country in 2011. He also served as a full time Professor in the Business School of the same University. From 2001 to 2007 he was also a Professor in the Department of Business and the Dean of Faculties at the East -West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Before joining UGC as its Chairman Professor regularly lectured at the Police Staff College, Bangladesh Public Administration Training Academy, Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management, Bangladesh Air Force Training and Staff Academy. Previously he was an adjunct faculty member of the Bangladesh Military Academy and Bangladesh Naval Academy. Professor Abdul Mannan is a Life Member of American Alumni Association, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh and Bangla Academy.
Currently Professor Mannan writes commentaries and post-editorials in a number of national dailies on issues relating to business, economics and current affairs, while he is an enlisted commentator in a number of national TV channels.
2 September 2020