George Okoth-Obbo

Assistant High-Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Mr. George Okoth-Obbo is UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations. He was appointed to this position on 12 February 2015. Mr. Okoth-Obbo is a lawyer educated for his Bachelor’s Degree in Law at Uganda’s Makerere University; for his Diploma in Legal Practice at the Law Development Centre, Uganda; and for his Masters in Law at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Okoth-Obbo was a Lecturer in Law at, respectively, the above-mentioned Law Development Centre and the Faculty of Law at Makerere University.

Mr. Okoth-Obbo joined UNHCR in 1984 as an Associate Protection Officer in Botswana (1984-1987). He then served as Protection Officer in Swaziland (1987) and Lesotho (1987-1989) before being reassigned to UNHCR Headquarters where he first worked as Senior External Relations Officer in the Secretariat (1989-1991) and later as Senior Legal Advisor for the Regional Bureau for Africa (1991-1995). From August 1995 to July 1998, he served as Assistant Representative for Protection in Ethiopia. His next tour of duty was at the Regional Directorate for Southern Africa (DOSA) in Pretoria, South Africa in the position, first, of Senior Policy Officer (1998-1999) and thereafter as Deputy Regional Director until 2001. For the first half of the latter year, he was Representative on mission in Zambia before going on to become the Representative for Kenya (2001-2006). He then returned to UNHCR Headquarters to become the Director of the Organization’s Division of International Protection Services (DIPS). He held this position until being appointed as the Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa also at UNHCR Headquarters, in 1 July 2009. He served in this position until his latest appointment. George Okoth-Obbo is a national of Uganda. He is married to Esther Okoth-Obbo and they have two children.