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Tenth Decade Project
’01 MA PA
Cabinet Minister for Works and Human Settlement
Nation of Bhutan
In July, Dorji Choden '01 MA PA was appointed by His Majesty the King of Bhutan as Bhutan's first woman minister and the minister for Works and Human Settlement.
Dorji Choden has served in the Royal Government of Bhutan for over 20 years in different capacities, starting as an Assistant Engineer in the Public Works Department. In January 2000, she was appointed as the Director to the newly established Standards & Quality Control Authority, which was entrusted with the important responsibility of ensuring quality in public infrastructure development. In January 2006, she was appointed as a Commissioner to the newly established office of the Anti-Corruption Commission. During her two-decade tenure as a civil servant, Choden represented technical and gender issues at the national, regional and international fora.
Choden also participated in a number of important national level government tasks. She worked with the United Nations in Bhutan since 2009, after resigned to contest in the country's first parliamentary election in 2008. She was then with the People's Democratic Party. While in the United Nations, she handled the poverty portfolio, with special emphasis on addressing youth employment and women's empowerment. She strongly believes that social democratic approach, which embraces inclusive participation and growth, leaving no one behind, while at the same time promoting individual goals and free enterprise, is best suited to Bhutan.
In March, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) elected Choden, 53, as its party president in an uncontested election, during the party's first general convention in Thimphu. She became one of two women in the country leading a political party.
“DNT believes in shared leadership and team work. And I believe that DNT has very capable candidates to work with and from where I can draw strength and work together,” she said. Choden is also Bhutan's first woman engineer; in addition to her EMPA, she also holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, India.