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Her Excellency Ms. Zahiya Zareer (19 May 2014 to present)

H.E. Ms. Zahiya Zareer, High CommissionerMs. Zahiya Zareer was appointed as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 19th May 2014 by President His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and presented her credentials to President His Excellency Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa on 1st July 2014.

Ms. Zahiya served in the Cabinet of the Former President, His Excellency Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as the Minister of Education from 2005-2008 and as the Minister of Gender, Family Development and Social Security from 2004-2005. Before being appointed as a Cabinet Minister, Ms. Zahiya has rendered extensive service to the Maldives education sector in various capacities and her role was instrumental in modernizing the education system. She served as the Director General of Education Development Center (EDC), Assistant Director General of Educational Supervision and Quality Improvement Section (ESQIS), Director of Foreign Relations and Projects Coordination Section of Ministry of Education, Director of Education Development Center (EDC), English Language Development Coordinator at English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) and English Language Curriculum Developer (ELTU). High Commissioner Zahiya began her professional career in 1979 as an English Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs and in 1983 as an English Language Teacher and Head of English Department at Aminiya School.

Apart from her dedicated service and commitment in the education sector, High Commissioner Zahiya also served as a Member of the Constitutional Assembly (Khaassa Majilis) from 2003-2008 and as a Member of Parliament (People’s Majilis) from 2004-2008.

During her immense service career in the education sector, she has also represented the Maldives in different international bodies. In this way, she was appointed as a Governing Board Member and Representative of the Asia Region of Commonwealth of Learning (COL) from 2008-2010, Chairperson of the Maldives National Commission for UNESCO from 2005-2008, Chairperson of the Maldives National Commission for ISESCO from 2005-2008, Secretary General of Maldives National Commission for UNESCO from 2000-2004 and as the Secretary General of Maldives National Commission for ISESCO from 2000-2004. In addition, she also filled various positions in national bodies a Member of the National Education Council from 1993-2008 and served as a Member and Education Focal Point of the National Committee for Mainstreaming of Population and Gender for Development from 2003-2008.

High Commissioner Zahiya has a strong academic background in humanities, specializing in Linguistics. She was educated at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature in 1983 and with a Master’s degree in Linguistics in 1990 from San Diego State University, California, USA.

High Commissioner Zahiya is also ardent in reading, travelling and learning about languages and cultures.

She is married with two children.