Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury

Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi career diplomat and former government minister. He is principal research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in the National University of Singapore.

Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury in New Delhi on 31 March 2007.jpg
Chowdhury in 2007
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Preceded byIajuddin Ahmed
Succeeded byDipu Moni
Personal details
Born25 October 1946
Dacca District,[citation needed] British India

As a senior member of the Bangladesh Foreign Service, he served as Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001–2007) and Geneva (1996–2001). He was also Bangladesh's ambassador to Qatar (1994–1996) and was accredited to Chile, Peru and the Vatican.

He was also an international civil servant, having served as special advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva (2000).

Early lifeEdit

Chowdhury stood First Class First in BA Honours in political science at Dhaka University and obtained an MA and PhD in international relations from the Australian National University, Canberra. Earlier, he secured a High First Division in Intermediate of Arts, and a place in Matriculation Examination. In the Civil Service Competitive Examination in 1968, he stood first in the then East Pakistan and joined the erstwhile Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1969.


Throughout a career that spanned across a period of nearly four decades, Chowdhury held many senior positions in the government including that of Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001–2007), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (1996–2000)and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar (1994–1996).[1] He was a secretary to the Government of Bangladesh. He also had concurrent accreditation to the Holy See (Vatican), Chile and Peru as ambassador.

During his long stints in Geneva and New York, he had been the president of the Conference on Disarmament, chairman of the WTO Council on Trade Policy Review, WTO Committee on Trade and Development, chairman, United Nations Information Committee, chairman, Population and Development Commission, chairman for the Committee for Social Development, vice-chairman, Human Rights Commission, and vice-president of the United Nations General Assembly, and vice-chairman, UNICEF, among other positions.

He had been actively associated with the United Nations reform process as a facilitator appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly. He was also responsible for conducting negotiations on the paragraphs on 'Responsibility to Protect' in the United Nations reform document, which he did successfully.

He has participated in numerous seminars and workshops in various universities and think tanks around the world and has contributed articles on international relations and economic development in journals and newspapers.

His contributions as a global diplomat were recognised by the New York City Council when in a proclamation in 2003, Iftekhar Chowdhury was named one of the world's leading diplomat leaders. He was also awarded a Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by the Pope.[citation needed]

Chowdhury served as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh (Formal Title : Foreign Advisor) of the Caretaker Government during the 2007–2008 Emergency. He was in charge of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Expatriate Welfare and Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs.[2][3]

After having left the Cabinet in Bangladesh in January 2009, he joined the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore where he is currently the principal research fellow. He has also taught at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University and at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

He has authored several books and numerous articles on international relations and security issues.

Personal lifeEdit

He and his wife, Nicole Sherin Chowdhury, have one daughter, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, who is head of research and analysis at the Global Center on Cooperative Security in New York.[4]


  2. ^ "Recognition of Kosovo and Bangladesh". The Daily Star. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Condemned Mohiuddin arrives today". The Daily Star. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Permanent Missions to the United Nations" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 12 April 2016.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Iajuddin Ahmed
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Dipu Moni