Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is the former UN human rights chief, recognized world-wide as a leading and outspoken defender and promoter of universal human rights. He was awarded the Stockholm prize for human rights in 2015 and the Tulip prize in 2018. With a professional background as a practitioner and a former senior diplomat representing his country Jordan, his knowledge is steeped in the global security environment, stemming from over twenty years of direct exposure to many of the world’s most turbulent crises and serious security threats. He served as president of the UN Security Council in January 2014 and in 2002, was elected the first president of the governing body of the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he guided the court’s growth in its first three years, from September 2002 through September 2005.
Al Hussein has chaired some of the most complex legal negotiations associated with the court’s statute, in particular those relating to the elements of crimes and the crime of aggression (the “supreme international crime”). He also led the international community’s efforts in countering the threat of nuclear materials being trafficked and then used maliciously by terrorists. Further, Al Hussein led the UN’s efforts to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping. He twice served as Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations and once as Jordan’s ambassador to the United States, from 2007 through 2010. He also represented Jordan twice before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). From 1994 through 1996, Al Hussein was a UN civilian peacekeeper with UNPROFOR. He earned degrees from Johns Hopkins and Cambridge universities and is an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge University.