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Ilze Brands Kehris

Ms Brands Kehris was the Chairperson of the Board of MPG.  She is currently the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York.

From February 2011 until August 2014, she was the Director of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, after which she spent September 2014-August 2016 as Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York. She was previously a member of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and served as the First Vice-President of that Committee from June 2006 until June 2010.

In the EU context, she was the independent member from Latvia of the Management Board of the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), where she was elected Vice-Chairperson from 2004 to 2007. She was also a member of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) since its inception and was its Chairperson from December 2009 until July 2012.

Educated as a political scientist, her substantive focus is on minority rights, fundamental rights and their relation to conflict prevention. She is a member of several related independent institutions’ boards and scientific committees. At the national level, she was Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights from November 2002 to February 2011, where her work focused on rights of persons belonging to national minorities, citizenship, anti-discrimination, hate crime and racism, fundamental freedoms and civil and political rights.

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