Triggs, who recently completed a five-year term as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, will succeed Volker Türk of Austria in the role.
The Assistant High Commissioner for Protection oversees the UNHCR’s international protection work for millions of refugees worldwide, including the internally displaced and stateless.
It’s one of four top positions in UNHCR’s senior management structure, along with the High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner and Assistant High Commissioner for Operations.
An expert in international law, Triggs brings decades of experience as an academic, lawyer, advocate and public policy expert. She has previously held many high-profile roles, including President of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal, Chair of the UN Independent Expert Panel of Inquiry into Abuse of Office and Harassment in UNAIDS, Dean of International Law at the University of Sydney, and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.
In 2017, Triggs was inducted into the Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame in recognition of her outstanding career and superlative personal and professional leadership.
On Friday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi welcomed Triggs into her new role.
“Gillian Triggs brings to UNHCR extensive expertise, knowledge and vast experience in international refugee protection that will contribute enormously to our efforts to protect, assist and find solutions for those forced by violence and persecution to flee their homes,” Grandi said.
Delighted that @GillianTriggs has been appointed Assistant High Commissioner for @Refugees for protection: she will bring to #UNHCR substantial legal expertise, knowledge and experience of refugee issues and a passion for human rights. We look forward to welcoming her soon! pic.twitter.com/GTcRG8pJKM
— Filippo Grandi (@RefugeesChief) August 8, 2019
“At this challenging time when displacement globally is at record levels, this appointment reaffirms our commitment to international protection as the core of all of UNHCR’s work on behalf of the world’s refugees, displaced and stateless people.”