Nils Muižnieks was elected Commissioner for Human Rights on 24 January 2012 by the Parliamentary Assembly and took up his position on 1 April 2012. He is the third Commissioner, succeeding Thomas Hammarberg (2006-2012) and Alvaro Gil-Robles (1999-2006).
Born in 1964, Mr Muižnieks is a Latvian national educated in the United States of America, where he obtained a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California at Berkeley.
He has been working in the field of human rights for the past two decades and has acquired extensive knowledge in the field of international human rights monitoring, training and education.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner for Human Rights, he held prominent posts such as Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia in Riga (2005-2012); Chairman of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); Latvian minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination, minority rights, and civil society development (2002-2004); and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies - now Latvian Human Rights Centre (1994-2002).
He has also published extensively on human rights issues, in particular on racism, discrimination and minority rights. Latvian and English are his mother tongues, and he is also fluent in French and Russian.