The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is led by Ambassador Janez Lenarčič of Slovenia.
Lenarčič took over as Director in July 2008, bringing with him many years of experience in international affairs.
He was the Slovenian Ambassador to the OSCE from 2003 to 2006. In 2005, when Slovenia held the OSCE's rotating Chairmanship, he chaired the Permanent Council in Vienna, the Organization's regular political decision-making body.
After his Vienna assignment, he was appointed State Secretary for European Affairs in 2006, heading the working group for the preparation of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU (January to June 2008) and, subsequently, assuming responsibility for co-operation between the Presidency and the European Parliament.
He also served as Diplomatic Adviser in the office of the Slovenian Prime Minister and in the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations in New York.
"I am fully aware of the tremendous responsibilities that the position entails, and of the many challenges that lie ahead," Lenarčič said following his appointment as ODIHR Director.
"The ODIHR is the central institution that deals with the OSCE's human dimension. Its role has steadily evolved and has been strengthened since its inception. With the support of the participating States, the Chairmanship, the Secretary General and, most of all, the fine ODIHR team, I hope to build on the solid legacy of my predecessors, to further consolidate the integrity of the Office and to continue developing its important activities."
Lenarčič, born in Ljubljana in 1967, holds a degree in international law from Ljubljana University.
2003-2008: Christian Strohal (Austria)
1997-2002: Gerard Stoudmann (Switzerland)
1994-1997: Audrey Glover (United Kingdom)
1991-1994: Luchino Cortese (Italy)