Mariyam Midhfa Naeem is Joint Secretary heading the India Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has been heading the India Division at the Ministry since October 2018, responsible for overseeing various aspects of the Maldives-India relationship. In addition to providing direction and shaping policy, Midhfa oversees the development projects between both countries, liaising with a multitude of national stakeholders.
Midhfa is a career diplomat. She began her career as a Foreign Service Officer in May 2007, as a junior officer at the International Affairs Department. She got promoted on merit to head the United Nations Division in the International Affairs Department at Director Level in 2014, where she coordinated and provided guidance on all matters related to the Maldives engagements at the UN, UN system in the Maldives, as well as candidatures. Notably, she worked on the campaign to elect the Maldives to the Security Council in 2018, and the UN Human Rights Council in 2013, and the Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture in 2011.
Midhfa worked as a Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Maldives to the UN in New York from 2015 to 2017, where she was the lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States on sustainable development. She shaped and executed negotiation strategy for Small Island Developing States, on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda.
Between 2017 and 2018, Midhfa worked as Director at the Foreign Service Institute of Maldives, planning and executing the Strategic Action Plan for the Institute, and crafting new programmes, most notably, the Skills Development and Enhancement Programme, the Foreign Service Officer Introductory Programme, the Lecture Series, and the Stakeholder Engagement Programme.
Midhfa has also served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Training and Skill Development, since 2018. She has also coached several school teams for the National Oratory Competition between 2010 and 2019, and been part of the judging panel for National Debating Competitions.
Midhfa has a Masters in Public Policy from the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.