Mrs. Sadako Ogata is the former President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Honorary Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security (ABHS), having served as Chair of the ABHS from its establishment in 2004 until 2010. Mrs. Ogata co-chaired the Commission on Human Security (June 2001 to April 2003) and was Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation. While at the Commission, she was also appointed the Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Japan on Afghanistan Assistance and co-chaired the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in January 2002 in Tokyo, Japan.
Mrs. Ogata served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1991 to 2000. Before her career at 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 the Representative of Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Also, from 1978 to 1979, Mrs. Ogata was the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, and served as the Minister there from 1976 to 1978.
Mrs. Ogata has also been a prominent academic figure. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo (1989-1991). Prior to this, she was the Director of the Institute of International Relations at the same university (1987-1988), and Professor from 1980. She served as Associate Professor, Diplomatic History and International Relations at the International Christian University in Tokyo (1974-1976), and Lecturer in International Relations at the International Christian University and at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo from 1965 to 1974. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo.