Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed

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Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed
10th Secretary-General of SAARC
In office
March 1, 2011 – Jan 24, 2012
Preceded by Sheel Kant Sharma
Succeeded by Ahmed Saleem
Attorney-General of the Maldives
In office
November 12, 2008 – May 19, 2009
President Mohamed Nasheed
Preceded by Azima Shukoor
Succeeded by Husnu Suood
Personal details
Born Maldives
Nationality Maldivian
Spouse(s) Abdulla Jabir
Alma mater University of Tasmania (L.L.B)
Osaka University (M.L.M.)[1]

Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed is a Maldivian diplomat, and was the Secretary-General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). She was the first woman to hold this post since the organization's inception in 1985. She was appointed Secretary-General at the Thirty-third Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in February 2011, and assumed office in Kathmandu on 1 March 2011. She succeeded India's Sheel Kant Sharma, whose term ended in February.

She was previously the Maldives’ Attorney General, and also served as the Maldivian Government’s Envoy for South Asia. She holds a master's degree in Law from the Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University, Japan. She is currently undertaking a PhD research at Leicester University, UK.
She is the first female to hold this position, as well as the youngest person on the post.

Early years and education[edit]

Dhiyana Saeed was born in Hithadhoo (today's Addu City), Maldives. She obtained her primary and secondary education in the Maldives. In 2000, she acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Tasmania, Australia. In 2004, she earned a Master's Degree in Law (LLM) from the Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University, Japan. [2]


Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed is a founding member of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party and has served as a member of its Executive Council. Later, she joined the Jumhoory Party and was elected the Leader of its Women’s Wing. During these political stints, she has been a vocal proponent for legal reforms, human rights and gender issues as well as the consolidation of democratic governance in the Maldives.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Uza. Dhiyana Saeed started her legal career as a State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Office in 2000. As a State Attorney, she was responsible for providing legal opinion to the Government on all aspects of its dealings and for reviewing draft laws and regulations. She was promoted to the post of Executive Director in 2005. Earlier the same year, she was also appointed to the People’s Majlis (Parliament) and by virtue of that appointment, she also became a member of the People’s Special Majlis (Constitutional Assembly). As a member of the Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly, she played a key role in introducing a multi-party democracy to the Maldives and instituting constitutional and law reforms. She is especially credited for proposing a deadline to complete the constitution and a time-bound schedule to meet the proposed deadline.[2]

Attorney General[edit]

In 2008, she was appointed as the Attorney General of the first multi-party Government in the Maldives. As the Attorney General, she played a leading role to sustain the newfound democracy and the decentralization of powers in the Maldives.[2]

On 18 May 2009, a mere 6 months as AG, President Mohamed Nasheed officially dismissed Dhiyana Saeed as Attorney General. The President's Office later stated that this move was carried out in order to assemble a cabinet that has greater confidence within the opposition-ruled parliament.[3] However, this move was also seen as a proving fact for the anticipated breaking of the coalition between the ruling Maldives Democratic Party and Jumhooree Party, of which she was a member.

Envoy for South Asia[edit]

On 4 August 2010, President Mohamed Nasheed appointed Saeed as the Maldivian Government's Envoy for South Asia.[4] She retained this post until 1 March 2011.

Secretary-General of SAARC[edit]

Uza. Dhiyana Saeed was the candidate provided by the Maldives, in nomination for the post of the 10th Secretary General of SAARC. On 10 February 2011, she was appointed to the post by the Thirty-third Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers held in Thimphu, Bhutan.[5] She assumed office in Kathmandu on 1 March 2011.[2] She resigned on 22 Feb 2012 over a controversy in involvement in internal politics of Maldives and her resignation was accepted on 24th Feb 2012. This is the first time a SAARC secretary general resigned prior to the expiry of terms since its foundation in 1985.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Ms. Dhiyana Saeed is married to Abdullah Jabir and has two sons.[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sheel Kant Sharma
SAARC Secy General
Succeeded by
Ahmed Saleem