Dr. Hala Hameed
Dr. Hala Hameed, is presently heading the Bilateral Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Appointed as Secretary, Bilateral in August 2022, she oversees and advises on bilateral engagements between the Maldives and diplomatic partners, promoting the Government’s foreign policy initiatives.
Prior to this, Dr. Hala served as Secretary, Multilateral and as the head of the economic cooperation department as of August 2020. Her responsibilities included managing the external resource mobilisation strategy at the most critical time of the global Covid-19 pandemic as well as overseeing the implementation of development projects funded by both bilateral and multilateral partners. As Secretary Multilateral she also led the Government stakeholders’ team in crafting the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework 2022-2026, working together with the United Nations agencies led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office.
Appointed as Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August 2015, Dr. Hala was posted to Geneva as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Office and International Organisations in Geneva where she served from January 2016 until July 2020. During her tenure in Geneva, she was concurrently accredited as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Maldives to the Swiss Confederation and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Most notably, she was the Regional Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Group at the UN Human Rights Council for the year 2017. As the Permanent Representative, Dr. Hala was a particularly active proponent of gender equality and an advocate for universal representation at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Leading the Maldives delegation, she has guided discussions on human rights in Parliamentary processes and greater cooperation between legislative and rights-based institutions. She has also provided leadership on human rights issues affecting Small Island Developing States. During her tenure in Geneva Dr. Hala was a committed member of the International Gender Champions, Geneva Chapter.
Dr. Hala began her career in public service in 1981, at the National Planning Agency, working on formulating development projects. She has held numerous ranks at the President’s Office, from 1989 to 2008, beginning as a Research Officer at the Foreign Relations Section and later as Deputy Minister of Cabinet Division from 2006 to November 2008. Between 2009-2013 she held the position of Vice President and Commissioner of the Police Integrity Commission. She also served as Minister of State for Law and Gender from December 2013-2015, and was entrusted with the responsibility of directing the implementation of the Government’s policy to empower women, economically, socially and politically.
As a USAID scholar, Dr. Hala attended the American University of Beirut for her first two years of undergraduate studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of the South Pacific, Suva Fiji. Dr. Hala earned her Master of Philosophy degree in Environmental Economics and read for her doctorate in Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom under a Commonwealth fellowship.
Dr. Hala is married to Mr Abdul Ghafoor Yoosuf and they are blessed with two sons and one daughter.