The work of Symbiosis in Bangladesh is carried out under the overall management and oversight of Symbiosis International, an NGO registered in Australia and based in Brisbane, Australia.

Our dedicated staff working in our local organisation, Symbiosis Bangladesh, are essential to our success. The local transfer of knowledge and experience in all walks of life enables Symbiosis to facilitate change without destroying the culture or sense of identity of village communities.

Symbiosis International undertakes projects in Bangladesh through its implementing division, Symbiosis Bangladesh, which is registered in Bangladesh as an NGO.  Symbiosis International has a range of funding partners that have agreements with either Symbiosis International or directly with Symbiosis Bangladesh.

Symbiosis Executive Leadership

DR. MORRIS LEE, Chief Executive Officer, Symbiosis International

LISA WEST-NEWMAN, CEO Elect, Symbiosis International

DR. ABDUR RAHMAN, Country Director, Symbiosis Bangladesh

Dr. Morris Lee lived in Bangladesh for 14 years to 1991 and has since divided his time between Australia and Bangladesh. Fluent in Bengali and with a background in rural technology and religious studies, he has spent most of his career working among the poor in Bangladesh to find sustainable and empowering solutions to poverty there. Dr. Lee is responsible for Symbiosis’ Strategic Planning in association with executive staff in Bangladesh, as well as coordinating the programs of Symbiosis Bangladesh and the implementation of the vision of Symbiosis International.

Lisa West-Newman has been a Director of the Symbiosis Board for five years with a focus on communications and fundraising. With an undergraduate degree in Business Marketing, she also brings to the organisation a breadth of experience in policy research, development and coordination, and everything she has learned from working cross-culturally for nine years in Cambodia. For the next four months, Lisa will gradually take-over from Morris with the task of continuing the work of Symbiosis International supported by an incredibly dedicated team of staff, volunteers and financial supporters.

Dr. Abdur Rahman is a Medical Doctor with 34 years of experience with the Government Health Ministry in Bangladesh. With expertise in training, leadership, research and community development, Dr. Rahman has worked in senior level management for many years. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor for the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences at James Cook University in Australia. Dr. Rahman has been a friend and supporter of Symbiosis since it began in 1995, and in 2014 became Country Director of Symbiosis Bangladesh.

The Symbiosis International Board


Lecturer and researcher with expertise in agriculture and environment.

NEIL PARKER Deputy Chair

Doctor specialising in public health medicine.


Marine Research Scientist with extensive experience travelling and working in Bangladesh.


Management consultant with experience in the public and private sectors.


Qualified Chartered Accountant and CPA specialising in business development.


Director of an NGO with extensive experience working cross-culturally.