The current High Commissioner on National Minorities is Astrid Thors of Finland. She began her mandate on 20 August 2013. Previously, Thors was a Member of Finnish Parliament from 2004 to 2013. She also served as Minister of Migration and European Affairs (2007–2011) and was a Member of the European Parliament (1996–2004).
The HCNM’s mandate states that the High Commissioner should be an eminent international personality with long-standing relevant experience from whom an impartial performance of the function may be expected. The mandate draws heavily on the judgement, experience, and political and diplomatic sense of the appointed personality. In this sense, the acquired reputation and the personal traits of the High Commissioner are vitally important.