Helmut Buss


Prior to his appointment as Ombudsman for the Funds and Programmes, Helmut Buss worked as an attorney before joining UNHCR over 20 years ago, where he assumed various functions both at headquarters and in the field.

Following a field assignment as Associate Protection Officer in UNHCR’s Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal, he assumed the functions of Legal Officer, Head of Unit and Regional Training Coordinator at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. He then served as UNHCR Country Representative in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, before returning to Geneva to join UNHCR’s Fundraising Service. Mr. Buss headed the UNHCR Legal Affairs Section from 2003 until his appointment as Ombudsman.

Mr. Buss brings to the position extensive knowledge in conflict management and informal conflict resolution, both from his functions as Legal Counsel and experience in mediation. He holds a Master’s degree in Mediation from the Institut Universitaire Kurt Boesch (IUKB) in Sion, Switzerland, and did extensive research on conflict cost controlling. “Measuring and reducing the cost of conflict at work in UNHCR” is the title of his master’s thesis. He is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and has participated in various IOA training activities. He also received certification as an ombudsman from the IOA and is a certified Mediator from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

Mr. Buss holds a Law degree from Hamburg University and an MBA degree from the Open University Business School in the United Kingdom. He is a national of Germany, is married and has two daughters.