H.E. Mr. Md. Shameem Ahsan joined as High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Malaysia on 19 October,2023.
Born on September 1, 1966 at his home-town Pirojpur, Ambassador Ahsan was educated at the University of Dhaka and has a Masters & Honors in Political Science (First Class First in both) from the same University. He stood first in order of merit in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination under Jessore Board in Humanities (1984) and received the Chancellor’s Award from the President. Also received numerous awards throughout his student life for his outstanding academic feat.
A career Bangladeshi diplomat with a wide range of experience(bilateral, multilateral) and skills gained near three decades of international assignments in Rome(2004-2008, 2020-2023), Abuja(2018-2020), New York(2018-2018), Washington DC(2008-2011), Nairobi(1997-2002),Doha (1996-1997),Kuwait(1995-1996) and at the Headquarters(Dhaka) including three Ambassadorial appointments(Nigeria with concurrent accreditation to Angola, Republic of Congo, Gambia, and Liberia, Italy with concurrent accreditation to Montenegro and Serbia and Permanent Representative to FAO,IFAD and WFP, Rome and currently in Malaysia). Worked as Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh at Public Diplomacy Wing and Europe Wing (2011,2013-2014). Work at various Desks (1993-1995 & 2002) at the Foreign Office (UN, Multilateral Economic Affairs, SAARC, Americas and Pacific) helped deepen his knowledge and understanding about international and regional issues.
Throughout his career, he was extensively involved in political negotiations, preparing drafts/reports and documents, analysing them, and briefing the officials at home and abroad. High Commissioner Ahsan has demonstrated his leadership ability and competence as the Head of Mission in New York (Consul General), Nigeria, Italy and currently in Malaysia while leading large teams in each station.
Mr. Ahsan assumed as President of the 36-member Executive Board of the Rome-based WFP (World Food Programme, world’s largest humanitarian organization) on 28 February 2022 following election of Bangladesh unanimously as the President of the Board for the year 2022 for the first time in its First Regular Session (28 February-3 March,2022). He successfully served as the President for the year 2022. As President of the EB of WFP , it had been his distinct privilege to lead the Executive Board to make its decisions by consensus and to ensure that every effort had been made to achieve consensus. Mr. Ahsan was also elected a Member of the Bureau of the Executive Board of the WFP in June,2023.
During his tenure as Bangladesh Permanent Representative to FAO, IFAD and WFP, Rome, Bangladesh got elected as a member of the FAO Council and WFP Executive Board, and President of the Executive Board of WFP for the first time ever.
He organized/facilitated business meetings/Business Networking Breakfast with the CEOs of the top US Companies for the Bangladesh leadership/Ministers/senior officials in collaboration with BCIU (Business Council for International Understanding), New York, Greater New York Chamber, US Chamber of Commerce, among others. Currently, overseeing two-way bilateral trade of over US$4 billion and investment of Malaysia, 8th largest investor to the country, to Bangladesh which is currently US$ 850.98.
He worked extensively in multicultural, multilingual, and diverse environments and areas of experience cover country branding, public diplomacy, human rights, migration and mobility, religious freedom, climate discourse, consular and diaspora diplomacy, economic and trade issues, education and culture, defence cooperation and regional cooperation, UN, D8 and other international organizations, among others.
Assignments particularly at consular-intensive stations (Kuwait, Qatar, Italy, USA, Malaysia) exposed him adequately to the manifold challenges to meet the varying demands of the hundreds of service-seekers/clients each day while remaining calm under very stressful situations. He introduced the first-ever automated consular payment system at the Bangladesh Embassy in Rome.
Pursuing public diplomacy vigorously at the Ministry and Missions abroad had been one of the professionally rewarding experiences for the Envoy. He passionately built close networking with the foreign and home media which yielded dividends in projecting/branding the country positively while dispelling misperceptions. Mr. Ahsan liaised with the Capitol Hill and all leading Think Tanks in Washington DC while serving as Minister (Political)/DCM at the Bangladesh Mission there.
As an active user of social media, he is blessed to have a vast network of friends and peers across the globe.
Always on the look-out for consensus and transparency, he always remained engaged with all key stakeholders in dialogue and negotiations to pursue consensus culture of the organization.
High Commissioner Ahsan involved himself in a series of speaking engagements(University at Tor Vergata, Rome, University of Abuja, Diplomatic Training Academy, Rome, Foreign Service Academy, Dhaka) highlighting, among others, the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes and importance of diplomacy, bilateral and international political issues.
The High Commissioner was invited to deliver the graduation lecture at the 24th convocation ceremony on 14 February 2020 at Abuja University, Nigeria. He received “Consul General of the Year” Award from the Asian-American Congress, New York at the 32nd Annual Celebration of the Congress held on 28 October, 2016 as a recognition to his dedicated services to the Bangladesh diaspora and for strengthening relations between Bangladesh and USA.
Mr. Ahsan was the Editor of “The Foreign Office (2009-2013)” – a flagship publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the diplomatic achievements of the Government of Bangladesh led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He was also the founding Editor of the monthly bulletin (Foreign Office Briefing Notes, FOBN-mouthpiece of the Foreign Office) of the Foreign Ministry (2011, 2013-2014). He was closely associated with the publication of “Liberation War: Friends of Bangladesh” published by the Public Diplomacy Wing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka (2015) which is a well-researched document on the names and particulars of the foreign nationals and organizations/entities who made enormous contributions during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Mr. Ahsan has written two books on diplomacy/international relations such as (i)”Kutnitikosh” (Encyclopedia of Diplomacy) (ii) Antarjatic Bishayabali: Shamashaya & Shambhabana (International Issues : Problems & Prospects). Another research-based book (Branding Bangladesh: Ideas & Challenges) is expected to be published soon. He also published several articles on various issues such as role of Bengali diplomats during War of Liberation of Bangladesh, diplomatic immunity and privileges, country branding, migration and mobility, environmental issues, economic relations, regionalism, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and on literary issues.
High Commissioner Ahsan gained insight and wide knowledge as he participated Summits (7th SAARC Summit,1993, Dhaka,12th SAARC Summit,2004, Islamabad, XII NAM Summit in 1998, Durban), numerous international conferences/seminars, symposiums at home and abroad on global issues such as climate change, human settlements and habitat, trade, regional cooperation, intellectual property, among others.
Mr. Ahsan has a record of on the job training on environmental laws at UNEP, Nairobi, presentation skills under Geneva-based UNITAR, courses on diplomacy at NESA, National Defence University(NDU), Washington DC, Institute of Foreign Service, New Delhi, India, security, strategic and development issues at the National Defence College (NDC), Dhaka, Arabic Language Course at the University of Kuwait, among others.
The High Commissioner was also closely involved in charity fairs and facilitated similar fund-raising activities of the Embassy ladies throughout his career to create a human face of the organization where he worked.
Prior to joining foreign service, Mr. Ahsan worked as a Research Officer at the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS)-a leading independent, non-government research organization on resource management, environment and development (RMED) in Dhaka from 1991- 1993.
Special interest of Mr. Ahsan is Country Branding and Climate Diplomacy.
An ardent debater throughout his student life, Ambassador Ahsan enjoys reciting poems. He won a gold medal in his school life (1980) for the best written essay at the national level.
Married to Pandora Chowdhury, they have a daughter.