Ms. Laura Thompson was re-elected as Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 19 June 2014 by the Organization’s Council of Member States for a second five-year term. With more than 20 years of experience in diplomacy, multilateral negotiation, development, and humanitarian affairs, she has provided leadership for multilateral initiatives and negotiations across the fields of migration, refugees, humanitarian assistance and human rights, and the environment.
She was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva (2007-2009). Previously, she served as Counsellor (1996-1998) and First Secretary (1994-1996) at the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva, and as Cultural Attaché (1989) at the Delegation of Costa Rica to UNESCO in Paris.
During her diplomatic career, she has held leadership responsibilities within humanitarian affairs at key governing bodies, including Chair and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2007-2009), Chair of the Executive Committee of the IOM (1996-1997), and Vice-Chair of the Council of the IOM (1997-1998). She also acted as chair or vice-chair of governing bodies of the United Nations Compensation Commission, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the International Labour Organization.