Jalal was the person you turned to when you needed a good laugh, a shoulder to cry on or just some sound advice. He would always listen, never judge and always inspire with his thoughts and demeanor. He was the one who provided the light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Jalal worked incessantly to make the world a better place. He obtained his Ph.D from Brown University and after working as a strategy consultant at Braun Consulting his passion to teach took over. He joined the Political Science Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was a devoted teacher and challenged the human mind to think with a soul. Alongside teaching he also co-founded Red Bridge Strategy, which helped organizations globalize their operations with locally and politically-informed strategies.
Jalal fought for what he believed in. He was creative, passionate and a tremendous writer. In 2007, he led a campaign protesting the detention of his father by Bangladesh's military-led caretaker government. His website, www.bangladeshpolitics.com, became a crucial tool in this fight for justice. He cycled 85 miles for the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise funds for cancer research, inspired by the experience of his mother's treatment for cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was part of several projects with the United Nations Population Fund, the Watson Institute for International studies at Brown University, the Southern Asian Institute at Columbia University and Center for Policy Research.
In 2010, Jalal received tenure from the University of Massachusetts Boston as Associate Professor of Political Science. During this time he decided to go on a one year sabbatical to further his research and also spend more time with his family in Bangladesh. At the time of his death, he was working on several research projects ranging from political violence and justice in Bangladesh and Pakistan, foreign policy of Bangladesh, the representation of values in Indian foreign policy, and the relationship between authoritarianism and globalization in Myanmar. Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to finish the great work he had started. On December 3rd 2011, Jalal drowned off Yanui Beach in Phuket, Thailand.
Jalal has left a footprint that will never be erased. His infectious smile and soothing presence will always be remembered and missed.