Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein assumed his functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 1 September 2014, after being selected by the UN Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly. He is the sixth High Commissioner to have been appointed since the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993.

A veteran multilateral diplomat, Zeid was previously Jordan's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, a post he held twice (from 2000 to 2007, and again from 2010 to 2014). In between, he served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States of America (2007-2010). In January 2014, he was President of the UN Security Council.

Zeid has considerable experience in the areas of international criminal justice, international law, UN peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building, international development, and counter-nuclear terrorism.

He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), chairing the complex negotiations over the elements of individual offences amounting to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and in September 2002, he was elected as the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Subsequently, in 2009-10, he chaired the closing stages of the intricate negotiations over the crime of aggression - identified by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg as that "supreme international crime" which were successfully concluded, with a consensus agreement, in Kampala in June 2010.

Zeid represented Jordan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004 and 2009, and also represented his country on the issue of Nuclear Security following the 2010 Washington Summit, which initiated a concerted international effort to blunt the threat of nuclear terrorism.

He also has extensive knowledge of peacekeeping. He served as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR, in the former Yugoslavia, from 1994 to 1996. In 2004, following allegations of widespread abuse by UN peacekeepers, Kofi Annan appointed him as Advisor to the Secretary-General on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. His report, produced in 2005, provided, for the first time, a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations.

Zeid holds a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University.

Source: Online biographical information provided by the Office of Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.