Stephen D. Mathias Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs

Stephen D. Mathias

Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs

Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed D. Stephen Mathias of the United States as Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs.

He succeeds Peter Taksøe-Jensen in the position.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Taksøe-Jensen for his dedication and commitment to the Organization during his term as Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs.

In this position within the Office of Legal Affairs, Mr. Mathias will be, inter alia, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel and will assist in the overall supervision of each of the units of the Office. 

Mr. Mathias brings a wealth of experience to this position.  He has been the Director of the General Legal Division in the Office of Legal Affairs since May 2010.  Before joining the United Nations, he had 23 years of experience in international law.  He served at the United States State Department for 20 years, including as Assistant Legal Adviser for United Nations Affairs.

From 1992-1996, Mr. Mathias was the Counsellor for Legal Affairs at the United States Embassy in The Hague, where a focus of his work was the International Court of Justice and the start-up phase of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.   From 2004-2007, he served as General Counsel to the Multinational Force and Observers, which supervises the implementation of the Security Annex to the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel.  Before joining the public sector, Mr. Mathias worked from 1981-1987 in private legal practice.

Mr. Mathias was educated at Georgetown University and Columbia Law School, where he first studied for a Bachelor of Science in foreign service and then for a Juris Doctor.

Born in 1955, he is married and has two children.