Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, currently Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore (NUS) was Foreign Minister of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh from 2007 to 2009. Earlier as a career diplomat, he had served as long-time Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (including to the Conference on Disarmament) from 1996 to 2000, and in New York 2000 to 2007. He has also served as the Chair of the Conference on Disarmament, Member of the first Bureau of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and Vice Chair of the UN Disarmament Commission among other things. Between 1986 and 1992, Chowdhury was his country’s delegate to the UN Disarmament Committee (First Committee). He joined the Pakistan Superior Service in 1969, and shifted to Bangladesh upon that country’s independence in 1971.
Chowdhury has an MA (1977) and PhD (1980) from the Australian National University (ANU) in International Relations.
As a renowned scholar academic, he has numerous publications on global politics, economics and strategic issues, including a co-authored book on Afghanistan, entitled Afghanistan: the Next Steps. His other books focus on the UN and WTO, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He has travelled extensively around the world and lectured in many think-tanks and universities in Asia, Europe, Australia, America and in the Gulf Region. Among international recognition he has a knighthood from the Vatican while the New York City Council in a Proclamation has named him one of the world’s ‘leading diplomatic leaders’.