Ivan Šimonović assumed his functions as Assistant-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on 1 October 2016. From July 2010 to September 2016, Mr. Šimonović headed, as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, the New York office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Before joining the United Nations, from 2008 Mr. Šimonović held the position of Minister of Justice of Croatia.
Previously, Mr. Šimonović was Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he served as Senior Vice-President and President of the Economic and Social Council from 2001 to 2003. A Croatian national, Mr. Šimonović worked as a professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb, where he served as Head of the Legal Theory Department, Vice-Dean and Vice-Rector for international cooperation. He has published extensively in the fields of international relations, law, human rights, and development of national institutions.
In an expert capacity, he has been a member of the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (i.e. the Venice Commission) and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), as well as the Agent of the Republic of Croatia before the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Mr. Šimonović has a graduate degree in law, a master’s degree in public administration and politics, and a Ph.D. from the University of Zagreb and was a visiting scholar Graz and Yale. He is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Columbia, Bok visiting international professor at Penn University and honorary professor at the University of Queensland.