Ms. Sonia Picado is the President of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. From 2010-2016, she served as the Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security. Ms. Picado is a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica in San José and the former President of the National Liberation Party. In 1999, she led the International Commission of Inquiry on East Timor to study human rights situations there and presented her report to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was the Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States from 1994 to 1998 and Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights from 1984 to 1994. Between 1988 and 1994, she also served as the Judge and Vice-Chair of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Kamel Morjane brings many years of experience working with the United Nations. From 1977 to 1996, he served as Director for South West Asia, North Africa and the Middle East and Director for Africa with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 1996 he was appointed as Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva before his selection as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of Congo in November 1999. More recently, between 2005 and 2010, he served as Defence Minister of Tunisia and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2011.
Mr. Akihiko Tanaka is President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Before assuming the present post, he was Professor of International Politics at the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies and at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo. Most recently he was Vice President of the University of Tokyo (2011-2012), Executive Vice President of the University of Tokyo (2009-2011), and Director of the Division of International Affairs of the University of Tokyo (2008-2010).
On 8 May 2017, the Secretary-General reappointed Mr. Yukio Takasu as Special Adviser on Human Security. From April 2012 to May 2017, he served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management. He was previously appointed as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security in December 2010 by then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. As a diplomat, Mr. Takasu has worked to advance the notion of human security in the United Nations and amongst Member States. While serving as Director-General for Japan’s Department of Multilateral Cooperation in 2000, he supported the activities of the Commission on Human Security, co-chaired by Mrs. Sadako Ogata and Professor Amartya Sen.
Bradford Smith is president of the Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers—a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector, together with research, education and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Before joining the Foundation Center in 2008, Mr. Smith was president of the Oak Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, a major family foundation with programs and grant activities in 41 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.
Mr. Matjaž Kovačič is the former Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations in Geneva. Prior to his position in Geneva, Mr. Kovačič worked in the areas of human security, international relations, human rights, minority rights and women’s rights as a representative of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.
After 30 years in exile, Dr. Ginwala returned to South Africa as a member of the African National Congress (ANC) Presidents’ Secretariat and its negotiating team. Following democratic elections, she entered parliament and became the First Speaker of the National Assembly. Prior to being elected to the National Assembly, Dr. Ginwala was actively involved in the ANC where she formed the taskforce to establish a Women’s League.
Since 2001, Mr. François Fouinat has been advancing the United Nations’ work on human security in a number of ways. First, as the Executive Director of the Commission on Human Security (CHS), he managed the work of the Commission and supervised the elaboration of its report, Human Security Now: Protecting and Empowering People. Later, as the Executive Secretary of the Advisory Board on Human Security (ABHS), he led the Board’s initial efforts to promote and disseminate the findings and conclusions of the CHS. After the establishment of the Human Security Unit, he served as Special Adviser to the ABHS and to the UN Trust Fund for Human Security.
Professor Adebayo Adedeji is the founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies, a non-profit think tank based in Nigeria, which he established in 1991 after retiring from the United Nations. He served as the Chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism, an initiative on good governance of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Prior to these functions, Professor Adedeji had a distinguished academic, diplomatic and political career, serving his native country, Nigeria, and the international community for over four decades.