Mohamed Nasheed


Former President of the Maldives


Often dubbed the ‘Mandela of the Maldives’ Mohamed Nasheed was the Maldives’ first democratically elected president. He remains a figurehead for the promotion of human rights and democracy in Islamic countries, and an international icon for action against climate change.

A former human rights activist, Nasheed led a campaign of non-violent, civil disobedience that pressured the dictatorial Maumoon Gayoom, then Asia’s longest-serving ruler, to relax authoritarian controls and allow political pluralism. In historic democratic polls in 2008, Nasheed was elected president, sweeping away 30 years of one-man rule.

Arrested, imprisoned and tortured in the Maldives on numerous occasions for his political beliefs, Nasheed was named an Amnesty International “Prisoner of Conscience,” and is widely credited for playing an instrumental part in bringing freedom and democracy to the Maldives.

During his time in office and thereafter, Nasheed has played a prominent global role advocating for action to curb greenhouse gas emissions that threaten his nation. In 2009, to highlight the Maldives’ vulnerability to rising sea levels, Nasheed famously held a meeting of his cabinet underwater. Nasheed also implemented policies to turn the Maldives into the world’s first carbon neutral country by 2020.


  • ISRM Global Urban Resilience Conference, Day 1: Governance & Policy - 30th November 2021