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.

Ms. Picado represented her country on the Experts Committee for the Promotion of Human Rights in Central America, at the Commission of European Communities from 1992 to 1994, as co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC from 1993 to 1994, and at the International Commission for the Recovery and Development of Central America from 1987 to 1989.

In 1980, Ms. Picado became the first woman to be elected Dean of the University of Costa Rica’s School of Law. She has also taught in Salzburg, Austria, at the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, the University of Dayton (Ohio), the World University Service in Austria and Columbia University.