Nasim Firdaus
Nasim Firdaus

General Information
First Female Ambassador

Full Name: Ambassador Nasim Firdaus

Affiliation: Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership (BDAWL)

Current Position: Founder and President

Date of Birth: November 11, 1950

Place of Birth: Bangladesh

Home District: Sylhet

Nationality: Bangladeshi


Ambassador Nasim Firdaus (born 11 November 1950) is the first career female diplomat of the country. She is the Founder and President of Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership (BDAWL), an NGO registered with the Government of Bangladesh. BDAWL’s major objective is to increase women’s participation in decision making at all levels and getting more women in leadership positions through training, leadership skills development, and advocacy. She started the first ever Women Leadership Academy in Bangladesh in 2010 to fulfill BDAWL’s mission to empower women through building self-confidence and leadership skills development.

Firdaus did not have the opportunity to study in school in her childhood. The first school started from class seven. She also holds a Masters in Home Economics from Dhaka University with a first class first, a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and received her LLM degree from the Liberal University of Brussels.

Firdaus joined the Bangladesh Foreign Service in 1979 as the first career female diplomat of the country. She is highly respected in Bangladesh for breaking the barrier to become the first female career civil servant recruited in independent Bangladesh by the Public Service Commission through the BCS examination. She is also well respected as a development, governance and international affairs’ policy analyst. While serving as Ambassador to Indonesia she successfully enhanced the profile of Bangladesh in Indonesia and raised bilateral relations to new heights including trade and commercial relations.

Firdaus has also served as ambassador to Egypt, Indonesia, Cyprus, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. She also served as Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and the Deputy Chief of Mission of Bangladesh to the United States of America. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh officially appointed her as State Department's First Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy. She has also held various positions at Bangladesh embassies in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Kolkata and Switzerland. She retired from the post of Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008. In her long 29 years of diplomatic life, she has made valuable contributions by representing Bangladesh in different countries.

During her career Firdaus represented Bangladesh in various international and regional forums including the Commission and Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Commission on the Status of Women, Inter Governmental Group on LDCs, UNCTAD, GATT, UNHCR, Committee on Disarmament, WHO, UN Compensation Commission, SAARC, and other multilateral, regional and bilateral meetings. She was instrumental in getting Bangladesh membership in the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) of ASEAN and of the UN Compensation Commission in Geneva in 1990.

In 1985 Firdaus served as the focal point in the core team of the first SAARC Summit National Coordination Committee as Senior Assistant Secretary. Subsequently she served as Director of SAARC and was a core team member of the Coordination Committee for the Seventh SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in 1993. She has wide negotiation and diplomatic experience.

Firdaus was guest speaker at United States Foreign Service Institute, Arlington 1997-1999; US Coast Guard Air Base, Humboldt Bay, California; Centre for Education & Training, Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia; National Defence College, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Foreign Affairs Training Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesh; several private and public universities of Bangladesh.

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