H.E. Maria Camilleri Calleja
Having joined the Public Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000, Ms Camilleri Calleja was assigned to the Protocol and Consular Office until October 2001 when she moved to form part of the team covering Near Eastern Affairs within the Bilateral Affairs Directorate. In April 2002, she was posted as Deputy Head of Mission and Consul at the Embassy of Malta in Stockholm. In 2005, she was offered the unique opportunity to be the first Maltese female diplomat to serve as Consul-General in Tripoli, Libya, while simultaneously forming part of the Schengen Evaluation team which led to the holistic upgrade of the consulate and eventually the successful assessment and accession of Malta to the Schengen Acquis. During her tenure in Libya, Malta also opened a visa facilitation office in Benghazi which Ms Camilleri Calleja visited on technical missions.
In 2008, she returned to Malta and covered Mediterranean Regional Fora serving also as Senior Official for Malta in the Union for the Mediterranean, on the Board of Governors of the Anna Lindh Foundation and covering 5+5 Western Mediterranean issues. In 2011, she was seconded as Research Analyst with the Standing Committee for Foreign and European Affairs of the Parliament of Malta. Upon concluding her assignment, she returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013 in the role of Counsellor and Head of Unit for Africa as well as the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, while assisting the directorate-general in the preparation of briefing notes for the monthly Foreign Affairs Council of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels. She was concurrently assigned as Secretary of the Council for Maltese Living Abroad – a government-appointed body – covering diaspora affairs under the chairmanship of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, holding this role from September 2013 till October 2016.
In 2014, Ms Camilleri Calleja was appointed Director (International Development, Economic Affairs and European Institutions) covering sustainable development, commercial issues, relations with the OSCE and the Council of Europe as well as Cultural Diplomacy. Parallel to her directorship duties, she also headed the team preparing the ministry for the 2017 European Union Council Presidency, covering policy, events in Malta, events in Missions, logistics, budgeting and staffing.
In December 2017, she was appointed Director-General (Political and EU Affairs), coordinating inter alia the team that drafts Malta’s positions within the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including other strategic foreign policy positions, as well as covering bilateral relations with all countries in a young and dynamic team of diplomats.
On 23rd November 2020, Ms Camilleri Calleja presented her credentials as first resident Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to the United Araba Emirates, to H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. During the same week, she also presented her Letters of Credence as first-ever Permanent Representative of Malta to IRENA in Abu Dhabi, to IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.
Education: Born on 22 March 1976, Maria Camilleri Calleja graduated cum laude from the University of Malta as Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Contemporary Mediterranean Studies (anthropology, geography and international relations intertwined) in 1999. She went on to graduate once again in 2000 with a Master of Arts in Diplomatic Studies from the Mediterranean Academy for Diplomatic Studies at the University of Malta.
She also successfully followed a number of training courses:
- École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris in Diplomatic Practices in 2001;
- Spanish Language and Culture proficiency offered by the Institute of Public Service in 2010-11;
- Subsidiarity and Proportionality Detection in Legislative Proposals proposed by the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament with the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier in 2012;
- EU Council Presidency Preparation and Management at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht in 2015; and
- International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) on Women, Peace and Security in October and November 2019 invited by the State Department of the United States of America as Malta’s participant for 2019
Personal: Speaks Maltese, English, Italian, French, Spanish, with a basic understanding of Arabic and Swedish. She likes travelling and reading. Married and has two sons.