Deputy Director General
Ambassador Laura Thompson
On 29 June 2009, Ambassador Laura Thompson was elected Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). She assumed her post on 1 September 2009.
Ambassador Thompson was formerly the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a Costa Rican national with experience in multilateral international negotiations.
As Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Thompson had leadership responsibility for key governing bodies of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2007-2009) and the International Organization for Migration (1996-1998), enhancing her understanding of humanitarian assistance issues. Ambassador Thompson also acted as chair of governing bodies of the United Nations Compensation Commission, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Labour Organization.
Prior to this, she was First Secretary (1994-1996) and then Counsellor (1996-1998) at the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. She also served as Cultural Attaché of the Delegation of Costa Rica to UNESCO in Paris during all of 1989.
In addition to her diplomatic experience, Ambassador Thompson held various posts as Legal Counsel for International Organizations in Geneva, including the United Nations Compensation Commission (1998-2004) and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (2004-2007), experiences that equipped her with indepth understanding of the functioning of International Organizations. Between 1991 and 1992, she was Partner in a law firm in Athens, Greece.
Ambassador Thompson holds a Masters degree in International Relations, specialising in international law, from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland). She also holds a Bachelors degree in law from the University of Costa Rica.
In addition to Spanish, her mother tongue, Ambassador Thompson is fluent in English, French and Greek, and has a basic knowledge of Italian and Portuguese.