2015 Tailwind Scholarship Recipients
We recognize and congratulate these bright young Muslim students.
On a Mission to Better the Lives of Others
Name Shammi Quddus
School Stanford University
Degree Masters in Public Administration and MBA in Business
Major Public Policy
“My personal ambition is to create systems that are highly scalable and have the potential to improve the lives of a billion of the world’s poor. To that end, I have spent the last three years working in the for-profit social enterprise sector in Bangladesh.
As General Manager of A K Khan WaterHealth, I was part of the founding leadership team of a company that set up community drinking water systems in rural areas. As Head of Business Development for Amader Daktar, I was responsible for creating a viable commercialization strategy for a smartphone platform that connects rural patients to doctors in the city. These experiences have allowed me to see first-hand how a business can impact social goals.
Private sector companies have the organizational efficiencies to manage complex technical operations such as managing a water purification plant or enabling video calls over meagre bandwidths. We respond to a farmer with the same attention as we do to his landlord because they are equal paying customers. A market-driven approach not only allows for sophisticated solutions to poverty challenges, but elevates the poor from a beneficiary to the dignity of a customer.
These insights have fuelled my desire to pursue my education and career at the intersection of business and international development.
My international interests also embody my vision of a global Muslim community that embraces its identity instead of apologizing for it. Muslims should not apologize for acts of terrorism, Muslims do not need to sheepishly take breaks for prayers at work or conferences, we should not have to pretend to be ‘tired’ to excuse ourselves from events involving drinking. But we do live in a world that is defined by dominant norms which will not change unless we speak up. Hence, my vision for a global Muslim community is one that feels confident in asking for its place in the world: whether it be for a prayer room at work or school, making it known that beer pong as a socializing activity is exclusionary or that the choice to shake hands with the opposite sex is indeed a choice and not an obligation.
First and foremost I hold myself accountable to this standard – I must speak up – at times politely, at times angrily for my and my community’s right to pursue our dreams and potential in this world without compromising the very values that shape our identity.”