Irene Khan

Director-General, International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Irene Khan is Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). The first woman to hold this office, she was elected by Member Parties on 17 November 2011 and took up her position formally on 1 January 2012 for a term of four years.

An international thought leader on human rights, gender and social justice issues, Irene Khan was Secretary General of Amnesty International from 2001 – 2009. Prior to that, she worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various field operations. She was Visiting Professor at the State University of New York Law School (Buffalo) in 2011.

Ms. Khan is Chancellor of Salford University (UK), and a member of the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention. She sits on the boards of several international human rights and development organizations.

Ms. Khan received the Sydney Peace Prize in 2006 for her work to end violence against women and girls. Her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights has been translated into seven languages.

Born in Bangladesh, Irene Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School.