About this speaker
Mr Umej Bhatia is Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva since 5 August 2019. He is concurrently accredited as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Vienna, Permanent Representative to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and Resident Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
Mr Bhatia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Double First Class Honours from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom in 1995 under a Singapore Broadcasting Corporation scholarship. He obtained a Master of Arts in Regional Studies (Middle East) from Harvard University, USA, in 2005 under a Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarship.
In 1995, Mr Bhatia worked for the then Television Corporation of Singapore where he produced and presented the current affairs programme “Talking Point”.
Mr Bhatia joined the Foreign Service in 1996 and has served in various capacities on issues covering Southeast Asia, Middle East and the United Nations in the Ministry's headquarters. He served overseas as First Secretary in Singapore’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, from 1999 to 2003, an Alternate Representative for Singapore on the United Nations Security Council from 2001-2002. In 2006, he was appointed Chargé d’Affaires with the rank of Counsellor and subsequently Chargé d’Affaires with the rank of Minister-Counsellor in the Singapore Embassy in Doha where he served until 2011. He was Singapore’s Consul-General in Dubai from September 2011 to December 2012. He was appointed as Singapore’s first resident Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from January 2013 to December 2016. Subsequently, Mr Bhatia served as Director-General, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia from January 2017 to May 2019.
Mr Bhatia was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) by the Singapore Government in 2008 and the Long Service Medal in 2019. In 2016, Mr Bhatia was conferred the Order of Independence (First Class) by the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
From 2009 to 2012, Mr Bhatia served on the board of Singapore’s Infocomms Development Authority (International). Mr Bhatia is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Geneva’s Masters of Advanced Studies Programme in European and International Governance (MEIG), a member of the Advisory Council of InterPeace in Geneva and a member of the Foundation Council of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Mr Bhatia serves as the Co-Chair of the Group of Friends of Research for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna and also serves as a focal point to address challenges faced by delegations from small and developing countries and on the implementation of the measures on the use of modern technology at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Mr Bhatia is also a historian and his most recent book was published in 2019, entitled “Our Name is Mutiny: The Global Revolt Against the Raj and the Hidden History of the Singapore Mutiny 1907-1915”.
Mr Bhatia is married and has two teenaged children.