Dr Ahmed Shaheed is Lecturer in Human Rights in the School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex and is the current UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Dr Shaheed is an internationally recognised expert on foreign policy, international diplomacy, democratisation and human rights reform especially in Muslim States. He has twice held the Office of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Maldives, a position he used to promote human rights standards and norms.
The UN Human Rights Council previously appointed Dr Shaheed to the office of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran from June 2011 to November 2016. Dr Shaheed is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Interfaith Dialogue established by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect. He is the founding Chair of the Geneva-based human rights think-tank, Universal Rights Group.