Senior Researcher

Ilze has both practical and theoretical human rights experience gained from work spanning intergovernmental organizations, civil society and academic research.  She has held several prominent leadership positions in national and regional level human rights organizations, including Chairperson of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.  As the Director of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities’ office she gained experience in addressing the interface of minority rights and diplomacy for the purpose of conflict prevention. In January 2017 she will take up her mandate as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.

Thematically, her own work has focused on civil and political rights, minority rights, anti-discrimination and equality, as well as the right to effective participation in economic, social and cultural life. Most recently, she has engaged on conflict prevention and human rights, including minority rights and in this area combines practical experience from the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and related academic research at Columbia University. Herself a political scientist, she is committed to a genuine inter-disciplinary approach to human rights, firmly grounded in both legal analysis and social science methodologies.

Positions held:

Visiting Scholar, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, theme: conflict prevention and human rights, including minority rights, 2014-2016

Director, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, 2011-2014

Chairperson, Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2010-2012

Member of the Management Board and the Executive Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2007-2012

First Vice-President of the Council of Europe Advisory Committee for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, 2006-2012

Member of the Management Board EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia 2003-2007, Vice-Chairperson 2004 of the Executive Board 2004-2007

Director, Latvian Centre for Human Rights, 2002-2011

Other relevant current activities:

Elected Member of the UN Human Rights Committee for mandate period 2017-2020

Member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and of the UPR Trust Fund for Financial and Financial and Technical Assistance

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute for Minority Rights of the EURAC, Bozen/Bolzano, Italy

Chairperson of Migration Policy Group, Brussels, Belgium Member of the Board of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights, Riga, Latvia

Member of the Editorial Board of the European Yearbook on Minority Rights