Press Release

IACHR Selects Five Finalists for the Post of Executive Secretary

April 21, 2016

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces its selection of five finalists for the post of Executive Secretary: Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, of the United States of America; Paulo Abrão, of Brazil; Renzo Pomi, of Uruguay; Michael Reed-Hurtado, of Colombia; and Lisa M. Shoman, of Belize.

On January 15, 2016, the current Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria, made public an open letter announcing his decision not to run for reelection. His mandate ends on August 15, 2016. In accordance to the procedure established in Article 11 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, on January 9, 2016, the announcement of a competition was published, in order to select a new Executive Secretary for the term from August 2016 to August 2020, term that can be renewed once for another four years. More than 90 candidacies were received, from which five finalists were selected applying the criteria established in Article 11 of the Rules of Procedure. This article establishes that the Executive Secretary shall be a person of independence and high moral standing, with experience and recognized expertise in the field of human rights.

The IACHR will publish shortly the résumés of the finalists on its Web site, in order to receive observations. The period to receive observations will be of approximately one month. The exact dates will be announced through a press release.

The Commission will interview the five finalists on its next Ordinary Period of Sessions, scheduled to be held at the IACHR headquarters July 18-29. Based on the comments received on the five candidacies and on the interviews, the IACHR will identify the best qualified candidate, by consensus or by an absolute majority of its members. In accordance to the Rules of Procedure, once the IACHR identifies the best qualified candidate for the post, it will forward his or her name to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), proposing his or her appointment.

A principal, autonomous body of the OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 050/16