Biography of Mrs. Sadako Ogata

Mrs. Sadako Ogata assumed office as one of the Co-chairs of the Commission on Human Security on 1 June 2001, with Professor Amartya Sen. While operating in New York, she was also appointed as the Special Representative of Prime Minister of Japan on Afghanistan Assistance in November 2001. She served as co-chair at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan on 21-22 January, 2002 in Tokyo, Japan. Also, Mrs. Ogata is a Scholar in Residence, The Ford Foundation since1 May 2001.

Mrs. Ogata served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 to 2000. She was elected to this post by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1990 for three years starting 1 January 1991. She was reelected in 1993 for a further period of five years (January 1994 to December 1998) and was reelected for a further period of two years (January 1999 to December 2000). Before her career as UNHCR, she was the Independent Expert of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar in 1990. From 1982 to 1985, she was also Representative of Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Also during 1978 and 1979, Mrs. Ogata was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations having served as Minister there from 1976 to 1978.

Mrs. Ogata has also been a prominent academic figure. She was Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo from 1989. Prior to that (1987-1988), she was Director of the Institute of International Relations at the same university, and Professor from 1980. From 1974 to 1976, she served as Associate Professor, Diplomatic History and International Relations at the International Christian University in Tokyo, while from 1965 to 1974 she lectured in International Relations at the International Christian University and at the University of the Sacred Heart also in Tokyo. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963, an M.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 1953 and a B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo in 1951.

Mrs. Ogata's recent publications include: Refugees, A Multilateral Response to Humanitarian Crises, Elberg Lecture delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, UNHCR, 1992; The Movement of People, RSA Journal Volume V, 140 (5432); The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 1992; Towards a European Immigration, The Philip Morris Institute for Public Policy Research, Brussels, 1993; Refugees in Asia: From Exodus to Solutions: Charles Rostov lecture delivered at the Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C., 1995; Towards Healing the Wounds: Conflict-Torn States and the Return of Refugees; The United Nations: in The Next Fifty Years, International Relations Institute, Korean University, 1996.

Mrs. Ogata was born on 16 September 1927 in Tokyo, Japan. She is married and has a son and a daughter.