The unique composition of the IHRA means it is uniquely placed to take the lead on issues related to Holocaust education, remembrance, and research in the international political arena.

The IHRA is a complex intergovernmental organization with five main levels: Political, Expert, Partner, Grant, and Executive. It has been designed as an international network of experts and policymakers, enabling them them to better work together.

IHRA Delegations

The IHRA currently has 35 Member Countries and 9 Observer Countries. The national government of each country forms a delegation of experts, generally consisting of leading educators, academics, and representatives of museums and memorials.

Each country’s delegation uses the IHRA as a forum and works with their counterparts from other countries to share experiences and expertise, and to address challenges. This partnership and cooperation means we can develop international best practices on topics like education, archival access, countering Holocaust distortion, preserving sites, and developing exhibits.

Political level

The Presidency and IHRA Chair

The Presidency of the IHRA is held each year by a different Member Country, on a voluntary basis. The Presidency hosts the IHRA Plenary Meetings up to twice a year in its country.

Croatia holds the current IHRA Presidency, from 1 March 2023–29 February 2024. The current IHRA Co-Chairs are Ambassador Terezija Gras and Sara Lustig. The IHRA Chair(s) guide the work of the organization during their Presidency, working closely with Heads of Delegation and the Secretary General to strengthen the organization and advance key programs.

Heads of Delegation

Each delegation is headed by a government representative, or Head of Delegation (HoD). HoDs are usually diplomats or work for the government ministry that oversees efforts to counter antisemitism, support museums, or develop school curricula. HoDs coordinate their national delegation within the IHRA and represent their country at IHRA Plenary Sessions.

Plenary

The Plenary is the central body of the IHRA and makes decisions on a consensus basis. The Plenary is composed of all Member Countries’ HoDs. Representatives of the Permanent International Partners (PIPs), Observer Countries, and Liaison Countries may also attend the Plenary Session as observers.

The Plenary meets at least twice a year for the Plenary Session. In the days prior to the Plenary Session, IHRA experts will also hold Plenary Meetings of their own.

Expert level

Advisor to the IHRA

The IHRA Advisor uses their expertise to consult with and guide the IHRA Chair, Secretary General, and Working Group and Committee members on key issues. The current Advisor to the IHRA is Dr. Robert Williams.

Working Groups and Committees

The IHRA’s network of delegates is divided into three Working Groups:

  1. Academic Working Group
  2. Education Working Group
  3. Museums and Memorials Working Group

Each Working Group is tasked with following developments in its respective sector, identifying priority areas and making recommendations to the IHRA Plenary on how the IHRA can most effectively make an impact.

In addition to their core affiliation to these Working Groups, delegates can also bring their expertise to the IHRA’s specialized Committees:

  1. Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial
  2. Committee on the Genocide of the Roma
  3. Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

The IHRA’s Committees are issue-focused standing committees that bring together experts from a range of different professional backgrounds and countries to recommend multidisciplinary solutions to persistent challenges.

Each Working Group and Committee is headed by a Chair that guides the expert body and sets the agendas for Working Group and Committee expert Plenary Meetings, which are held in the days prior to the Plenary Session.

IHRA Projects

IHRA Projects are temporary, multidisciplinary groups established to meet specific objectives within a certain period of time. Their activities are led by IHRA Project Chairs.

Partner level

Permanent International Partners

We partner closely with nine other intergovernmental organizations who also work on Holocaust-related issues. These Permanent International Partners (PIPs) are active participants in our Working Groups and Committees, and also join the IHRA’s Plenary Meetings as observers.

Some, like the United Nations and the European Commission, are intergovernmental organizations, while others, like the Claims Conference, are civil society organizations. All are leaders in the field.

Grant level

Chair of the Grant Review Committee and Strategy Implementation

Like the Advisor to the IHRA, the Chair of the Grant Review Committee and Strategy Implementation is a trusted advisor that the IHRA’s leading figures can turn to for guidance. They are key to ensuring that the IHRA’s programs contribute to implementing the IHRA Strategy to counter distortion and safeguard the record of the Holocaust and genocide of the Roma. This position is currently held by Sir Andrew Burns.

Grant Review Committee (GRC)

Made up of both IHRA delegates and external experts, the Grant Review Committee (GRC) ensures the IHRA funds impactful and innovative projects. They provide grant applicants with key advice on how to make their projects even stronger. Their efforts are guided by the Chair of the GRC and Strategy Implementation.

Grant Evaluation Board

The Grant Evaluation Board assesses the impact of IHRA Grants. They review projects’ concrete outcomes and reports and ensure objectives have been met. Like the GRC, it is made up of both IHRA delegates and external experts. 

Grant recipients

The IHRA Grant Program offers funding to external organizations to support specific projects that counter distortion and safeguard the record of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma.

Executive level

The Secretary General and the Permanent Office

Led by the IHRA Secretary General, Dr. Kathrin Meyer, the Permanent Office ensures continuity between IHRA Presidencies and supports the activities of the IHRA experts and Member Countries.

Primary responsibilities of the Permanent Office include providing assistance to the Presidency, Working Groups, delegations, and other IHRA bodies, facilitating internal and external communication, and administrating the Grant Program. It is based in Berlin, with 20 members of staff.

Please email info@holocaustremembrance.com to get in contact with any of our staff.

Permanent Office

Management

Oversees the day-to-day activities of the Permanent Office, the IHRA Presidency, and the IHRA as a whole

Programs team

Supports the Working Groups and Committees and new and existing initiatives from IHRA experts, including IHRA Projects, the Grant Program, and programs funded by extra-budgetary contributions like the Global Task Force Against Holocaust Distortion

Communications team

Works closely with the rest of the Permanent Office and IHRA experts to strengthen, advance, and promote the IHRA’s work around the world

Executive team

Supports Management, leads on stakeholder management and event planning, including of the IHRA’s biannual Plenary Meetings

Administrative team

Manages the IHRA’s office in Berlin

Building consensus at the Plenary

The Plenary is the official decision-making body of the IHRA, consisting of the Heads of Delegation from each IHRA Member Country. It is responsible for adopting recommendations and decisions made by IHRA experts.

The Plenary meets at least twice a year, usually during IHRA Plenary Meetings in which more than 300 experts and policymakers from our Member, Liaison, and Observer Countries, and our Permanent International Partners (PIPs) come together to discuss and advance Holocaust-related issues. These meetings create the opportunity for multiple types of valuable exchange. Experts and governmental representatives can develop working relationships with other delegates from their own country, and meet colleagues who hold similar roles in other countries.

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