Minister of Foreign Affairs
Honourable Abdulla Shahid, throughout a distinguished career, has proved to be an exceptional politician with experience in both the Executive and Legislative branches of the Maldives.
In 1983, he started his career as a Foreign Service Officer in the Maldives Foreign Ministry, and worked through the ranks, resulting in his appointment as Director, International Affairsin 1993. He was appointed as Executive Secretary to the President in 1995, and held the post with distinction for over ten years.
Hon. Shahid’s career in the Executive branch of the government gained momentum in 2005 when he was appointed as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and two years later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, at a time of sweeping political change following the introduction of the new constitution.
As Foreign Minister, he streamlined the work of the Ministry and broadened reach by opening new diplomatic missions, enhancing the perception of the Maldives despite the challenges of an initially tumultuous democratic transition.
Serving concurrently as an elected MP, Hon. Shahid vigorously advocated for human rights, good governance, rights of parliamentarians, and measures to counter global warming and climate change. He has represented the Maldives at the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the SAARC and the Non-aligned Movement.
Hon. Shahid’s entered the arena of domestic politics upon his appointment to the Constitutional Assembly as a Member of the President in 1994, and to the People’s Majlis as the President’s Member the following year. He was elected as MP for the Vaavu Atoll constituency for two consecutive terms in 2000 and 2005, the Keydhoo constituency seat in the first multi-party parliamentary elections in 2009, and a Mal’e seat in 2014.
On 29 May 2009, Abdulla Shahid historically became the first elected Speaker of the People’s Majlis, and served to commendably demonstrate his leadership, oratory skills, sagacity and diplomatic prowess.
During his tenure as Speaker, Hon. Shahid also served as the President of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Conference, and in the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, having previously served in the Standing Committee of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference.
As a leading voice of the Opposition, Hon. Shahid called for political and judicial reform, even garnering some jail time for his relentless activism. As the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Maldivian Democratic Party, as well as the Joint Opposition group, he proved essential in making the international community aware of the injustices, corruption and extra-legal practices underway.
Following the successful presidential campaign of 2018, Hon. Shahid served as the Chair of the Transition Committee of the President-elect, Hon. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Born in Male’ in May 1962, Hon. Shahid is married to Aishath Suiza. They have two sons and a daughter.