Also known as "the banker to the poor," Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them sound financial principles. Yunus received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt in 1969 and later became an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Returning to Bangladesh, he headed the economics department at Chittagong University. He was appointed by the U.N. secretary general as a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women and the U.N. Expert Group on Women and Finance. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, and is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation.