Born and raised in Bangladesh, Mustafa Chowdhury came to Canada in 1972 at the age of 23. He taught English Literature at Jagannath College for a short period just before coming to Canada – the country he now calls “home.”
Chowdhury has graduate degrees in English Literature, Library and Information Science and Canadian History from the University of Dhaka, University of Western Ontario, and Carleton University respectively. Having worked for 34 long years in the federal public service in Ottawa, Chowdhury retired in June 2011. Over the years, he has worked for a number of federal departments and agencies including Library and Archives, Public Service Commission, Employment and Immigration, Human Resources Development Canada, Canadian Heritage, Treasury Board of Canada and Health Canada. Commencing in 2007, Mustafa’s last stint in the public service was with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Using his human resources management expertise in the private and public sectors, Mustafa traveled across Canada to conduct Employment Equity (EE) audits of employer organizations covered the Federal Contractors’ Program. At Canadian Heritage, he played a key role liaising with stakeholders within and outside the Government and developed policy tools, such as, the Diversity/Inclusion Lens for policy analysts and program managers. At Public Service Commission, he administered the National Visible Minority Employment Program in the National Capital Rgion designed to enhance equitable representation in the federal public service.
Over the years, Chowdhury has been involved in cultural activities in the National Capital Region, Montreal and Toronto. In the 1990s, he used to be Master of Ceremony at FOBANA’s (Federation of Bangladesh Associations of North America) National Conventions in addition to staging drama and doing recitation.
Chowdhury is the recipient of several awards for his contributions to the public service and to his profession. These include:
- Chowdhury is the recipient of several awards in recognition of his contributions to the public service and to his Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution in the area of Education and Research as RCU Vocational Excellence Award by Rotary Club of Uttara, Bangladesh.
- “Enlightened Notable Personality” for research on war babies by Bengali Community of Guelph.
- Honourable Author Award by Dhaka University Alumni Association (Ottawa Chapter).
- Distinction in Education, Eastern University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Recognition Award, University of Asia Pacific for his contribution in his work on judhoshishu.
- Shuvecha Sharak, Southeast University for his work on abandoned children of 1971.
- Recognition Award for Valuable Research in the History of Abandoned Children of 1972, University of Liberal Arts.
- Recognition Award for research in the area of war babies of Bangladesh, Northern University.
- The Vision Award in Recognition of Contributions to Employment Equity (Human Resources Development Canada).
- Outstanding Team Award from (Treasury Board Secretariat).
- Certificate of Volunteer Appreciation (City of Ottawa).
- Volunteer Appreciation Certificate, (Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign).
- Award of Merit for Volunteer Services (Cumberland Township Community Resource Centre).
- Award of Merit for Volunteer Services, (Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant Services Organization).
Since the 1980s, Chowdhury has been writing articles on Equity, Diversity and Multiculturalism that were published in local newspapers and professional journals. Banglapedia published by Asiatic Society of Bangladesh) has an article by Chowdhury on the war babies of Bangladesh. As well, he has contributed a piece on the war babies in the forthcoming National Encyclopedia of Liberation War of Bangladesh Following his retirement, Chowdhury has been working full-time on a few monographs some of which have already been published. His first book titled ’71-er Judhoshishu: Obidito Itihash was first published by Academic Press and Publishers Library, Bangladesh, in 2015. His second book on the same subject titled Picking Up the Pieces: 1971 War Babies’ Odyssey from Bangladesh to Canada was published by Xlibris, Bloomington, Indiana, USA in 2015. Another book titled UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Story of Adoption of 1971 War Babies was published in Bangladesh by Academic Press and Publishers Library in 2016. Since the publication of his books, Chowdhury has been giving seminar presentations on his research findings at various institutions in Canada and Bangladesh that are well-covered by the news media.
Chowdhury is currently a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities (CACVM), and President, Canada Bangladesh Muslim Community (CBMC). In both capacities, he has been working with a view to building a stronger Canada where diversity and pluralism are seen as an asset.
Chowdhury lives in Ottawa with his wife Afroza, also a retired federal public servant who is also involved in charity work especially with Canada Bangladesh Education Trust (CBET). Together, they have a son and a daughter and a grandson. They live in Ottawa and work for the government. They are not just contributors but also active supporters of CBMC.