New York

08 August 2019

Ms. Gillian Triggs of Australia - Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Gillian Triggs of Australia as Assistant Secretary-General to serve as the Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Ms. Triggs will succeed Volker Türk of Austria who has been appointed as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.  The Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Refugees are grateful for Mr. Türk’s 30 years of dedicated service to the refugee cause, including 4 years as Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.

Ms. Triggs, who recently served a 5-year term as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, brings to the position several decades of professional experience as an academic, practising lawyer, advocate and public policy expert.  A barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, she is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, President of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal, and holder of a number of other eminent appointments. 

An expert in international law, Ms. Triggs has an extensive history of dedicated service to human rights and the refugee cause in Australia, the Asia-Pacific Region and globally.  She was in international commercial law practice and also Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne.  She then served as Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and as Dean and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney.   

Ms. Triggs holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in law from the University of Melbourne, and a master’s degree in law from Southern Methodist University, Texas.