A prominent Bangladeshi economist, he published more than a dozen nonfiction books in both Bengali and English. His English-language works include Peasants and Classes; The Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster; and Early Impact of Grameen, a Multi-Dimensional Analysis.
He earned his Ph.D. in 1977 from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.
He became the Governor of Bangladesh Bank in 2009.
He was born into a poor family in the Jamalpur district of Bangladesh. He later married Dr. Shahana Rahman.
He, like Sheikh Rahman, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Dhaka.