Dr. Sattar started his career as a Lecturer in Economics, Dhaka University in 1968; joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1969 and served in various positions in the districts and the Ministries of Bangladesh since 1971. In mid-career, he left for the USA for higher studies in Development Economics. In 1984, after completing his Ph.D in Economics from Boston University , he joined the faculty of Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., in the Department of Economics and Business, where he taught until 1992. Returning to Bangladesh in June 1992, he served as World Bank Advisor on tariffs and customs reform to the National Board of Revenue (1992-95) and later as UNDP consultant Macroeconomist at the Planning Commission (1995-96). He joined the World Bank, Dhaka Office, in 1996 where he served as Senior Economist, South Asia Region, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management until his retirement in September 2007. Between October 2007 and December 2008, he served as Vice-Chancellor, The Millennium University, Dhaka. Dr. Sattar is a founder Chairman of PRI which began its journey in December 2008.
Dr. Sattar has some 40 publications in international and national journals and numerous papers presented on trade policy, private sector development and growth issues at national and international conferences. He is recognized as a leading expert on trade and tax policy issues in Bangladesh . He frequently offers policy advice to the Government of Bangladesh on trade, industry and macroeconomic policy issues. He also lectures on campuses, makes keynote presentations in seminars and workshops, and contributes op ed pieces in local journals and newspapers. He is a life member of Bangladesh Economic Association, and Director of the following institutions: Southeast Bank Ltd., Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IIDFC), Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh Ltd. (VIPB), and Chittagong Stock Exchange Ltd.