Mohamed Hussain Shareef (born 24 September 1977) is a Council Member of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). Mohamed served as a Cabinet Minister in both President Waheed and President Yameen’s administration. Having served at ministerial rank, as the Ambassador of Maldives to Japan, Mohamed was appointed, on 6th September 2017, as the new Ambassador of Maldives to Sri Lanka and presented his Letter of Credence to the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena on 23 October 2017.
Having served as Chief Government Spokesman (2005-07) and Presidential Spokesperson (2007-08) in President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration, Mohamed was appointed as Minister of Human Resources, Youth and Sports (2011-12) in President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s coalition government.
With the electoral victory of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), he was appointed as the Minister at the President’s Office (November 2013 – October 2015) in incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s government.
EARLY LIFE & FAMILY
Mohamed Hussain Shareef, known to his friends and family as “Mundhu”, was born in Male’, capital of the Maldives.
He is the son of Hussain Shareef, who had served in the Maldives’ Government for nearing 30 years in the country’s telecommunications sector.
His mother Asma Rasheed –a fellow Council Member of the PPM –has a distinguished career in social work and politics. She currently serves as Member of Parliament (Maafannu Central Constituency), as the sole woman MP representing the ruling party. Mohamed grew up in a household of two former parliamentarians–his uncle Aslam Rasheed, MP and aunt Dr. Salma Rasheed, MP.
Mohamed is married, with one son and one step-son.
Mohamed completed his primary and secondary education in the Maldives in Majeediyya School and in neighbouring Sri Lanka at the Colombo International School (CIS) (from 1989 to 1994) and the British School in Colombo (BSC) (1994-1995).
His linguistic and oratory skills were spotted while in school, as were his sporting, artistic and leadership talents.
Bachelor of Arts (Hons.)
Mohamed completed his Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree at prominent British institution, the University of Warwick. He graduated on the Honours Roll, in Economics and Politics.
Master of Arts
Immediately upon the completion of his undergraduate studies, Mohamed read for a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Politics at Keele University, also in the UK.
After working at the President’s Office as Assistant Director, Head of the Environment Unit, Mohamed returned to the UK to his beloved Warwick University for postgraduate research. In 2005, he completed his MPhil in Diplomacy and International Relations, with his thesis being a comparative analysis of country negotiating positions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties. He opted for a comparison between the Maldives and Malta.
His first assignment at the President’s Office was as Assistant Director, Head of the Environment Unit (from September 1999), where he was entrusted with President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s global campaigning in raising awareness on the perils of climate change and sea level rise on the Maldives and small island developing states (SIDS).
Public Affairs, Public Relations and Communications
The 2004 Asian Tsunami and its devastating effects on low-lying Maldives thrust Mohamed into the public domain. He was entrusted with the responsibility of spokesperson. His regular television appearances and interviews to major broadcasters across the world led to his appointment first as Deputy to the Chief Government Spokesman and later as the Chief Government Spokesman.
He was instrumental in improving government communications and public affairs through the establishment of the Strategic Communications Unit (SCU) at the President’s Office. Mohamed headed the SCU as Presidential Spokesperson and Executive Director, Head of the Presidential Protocol Section.
Following the presidential elections defeat of 2008, Mohamed left government and moved to the Secretariat of the Former President (H.E. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom), as his Special Assistant on Foreign Relations.
Youth Affairs and Sports
With the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed and the assumption of presidential office by Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan, as a key Council Member of the largest of the political parties represented in President Dr. Waheed’s coalition, the PPM, Mohamed was appointed as the country’s Minister of Human Resources, Youth and Sports. At 34, he was, at the time, the country’s youngest ever Youth and Sports Minister.
Among his key initiatives in the youth affairs and sports portfolio, Mohamed embarked on an ambitious programme to establish state-run youth centres in every atoll. He also focused his efforts on youth employment and training. In sports, the country witnessed unprecedented success in most popular association sports, including football, basketball and volleyball.
Mohamed was the author of the PPM Youth Manifesto 2013 and the Sports Manifesto 2013. He is also the draftsman of the PPM Constitution and bylaws.
On his return to the President’s Office as Minister, he undertook numerous duties. He oversaw the Foreign Relations Section as well as the Public Affairs Section and Media Section at the Office. In addition to his representation in Cabinet, he was also entrusted with the duties of co-Cabinet Secretary.
Mohamed was instrumental in strategic decision-making in implementing the President’s economic agenda, including commercial diplomacy.
During his two year stint as Minister at the President’s Office, he was assigned temporary charge of other government portfolios, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Sports.
He represented the State overseas at the behest of the President and chaired a number of key committees. Furthermore, he was the key liaison with foreign diplomats, on behalf of the President. Mohamed was a member of China-Maldives Joint Commission, and Co-Chair of the Independence Golden Jubilee Ministerial Committee.
Mohamed accompanied the President on almost all his key overseas State and Official Visits. He was also instrumental in overall preparations during State and Official Visits to the Maldives by Heads of State and Government.
Mohamed, from January to June 2015, served as the Chair of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which involved him chairing daily highest level meetings at the WHO Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
Political Strategy and Campaigns
With the onset of pluralism in the Maldives, Mohamed joined the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) in 2005. In 2010, he left the DRP to join Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to form the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
Mohamed was the Party’s first Secretary General and Spokesman. He went on to be elected to the PPM Interim Council and later the Governing Council.
He was instrumental in strategic planning for the Party’s repeated electoral success, including no less than twenty wins in bi-elections for the Parliament and Local Councils. He was among the key strategists of the Party in its historic 2013 Presidential Elections victory. During the presidential elections campaign, Mohamed served as the PPM Representative on the Elections Commission Advisory Committee.
Foreign Relations and Diplomacy
Mohamed served for many years as President Gayoom’s draftsman. In that capacity, he drafted some of the President’s important speeches and addresses.
He was a member of the presidential delegations at numerous UN General Assembly Sessions, the Non-Aligned Summit, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, Summit Meetings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and other key international and regional forums.
He was a constant member of presidential entourages on State and Official visits throughout his decade-long service at the President’s Office in President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration.
In 2006, he also became the only Maldivian to interpret a speech at the UN General Assembly, when President Gayoom chose to address the gathering in his vernacular, thus giving Mohamed the opportunity to interpret live to the delegates in the General Assembly Hall.
As Human Resources, Youth and Sports Ministers, Mohamed led the Maldives’ delegations at the ILO Ministerial Conference in 2012 in Geneva, Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting in London in 2012 and Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Papua New Guinea in 2013. He also represented the Maldives at the 40th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Conakry, Republic of Guinea in 2013 and, as Special Envoy of the President, at the State Funeral of Former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
In March 2017, Mohamed was appointed, at ministerial rank, as the 3rd Ambassador of Maldives to Japan.
In September 2017, he was appointed, also at ministerial rank, as the Ambassador of Maldives to Sri Lanka.
In 2009, Mohamed contested for a seat in the People’s Majlis (the Parliament) for the Noonu Manadhoo constituency. He lost narrowly, but continues to serve the PPM as the Director for Noonu Atoll.
Mohamed is the Founder and Chairman of one of the top basketball clubs in the Maldives, the Kings Basketball Club. He invests a lot of time and resources into developing the sport in the Maldives.
He played cricket for school, university and later the premier club division in the Maldives. He was also the top snooker player in the country for many years. In addition to his interest in sports, Mohamed counts youth empowerment, charitable work and historical research among his key interests.