Marcia V. J. Kran is an international lawyer with over 40 years of professional experience working in human rights, criminal justice, and democratic governance. She has worked for decades within the United Nations to advance international law, strengthen governance institutions, and improve the protection of human rights in numerous countries. As a high-ranking United Nations professional, she led large multicultural teams to address complex human rights and development issues in challenging contexts.
Ms Kran has served as an expert on the United Nations Human Rights Committee since 2017. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Research and Right to Development Division at the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) in Geneva, where she led a team of over 100 staff to inform the advocacy positions of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and carry out research mandated by the Human Rights Council.
Previously, at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre in Bangkok, she led teams of development experts to advise and support over 25 countries in the Asia Pacific region in areas ranging from democratic governance through crisis prevention and anti-corruption to climate change. At the UNDP Regional Centre for Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in Bratislava, she and her team offered advice on building democratic governance and access to justice in the countries of the region.
She was previously National Criminal Justice Reform Director at the Open Society Institute in Budapest, where she advised on justice reforms in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Criminal Law Policy Council at the Canadian Department of Justice in Ottawa.
At a ceremony in Ottawa on December 1, 2022, Ms Kran was inducted into the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest honours, for her contributions to the protection of human rights and the advancement of democratic governance globally. She lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Luis Molina.