Ex-UN official, TV anchor is new president of Maldives

Ex-UN official, TV anchor is new president of Maldives

Mohammad Waheed Hassan, who was sworn in president Tuesday after Mohamed Nasheed quit following street protests, is an educationist who has served in the UN and is the country's first TV anchor. He is also the first doctorate in Maldives.

Born Jan 3, 1953, Waheed was the eldest of ten children. Aged 14, he worked in a variety of places, including tutoring young children, says his website.

Waheed attended the American University of Beirut for four years, studying for two of those years in the midst of the Lebanese civil war.

Returning home in 1976, he took up a teaching post at Majeedhiya School in Male.

Two years later, Waheed worked part time as the first anchor on Maldivian television, becoming the first person ever shown live on Maldivian Television when he introduced Ibrahim Shihab who inaugurated TVM (Television Maldives).

He then went to Stanford in US, where he received a masters in political science in 1985 and a doctorate of philosophy in International Development Education in 1987, making him the first Maldivian to receive a doctorate.

In the middle of 1991, Waheed worked as a freelance consultant with various UN agencies.

During that time he worked with UNDP and UNESCO in order to develop educational programs for Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Bangladesh and the South Pacific Islands.

He went on to become a senior advisor at UNICEF Headquarters in New York.
After New York, Waheed was transferred to Nepal where he became the deputy regional director for South Asia and later acting regional director.

He then moved to Afghanistan where he headed the UNICEF office in Kabul. After nearly three years in Afghanistan, Waheed was transferred back to New York.

He later left his UN career to return to Maldives in September of 2005.