Who We Are

UNICRI Director

Dr. Jonathan Lucas

Dr. Lucas brings almost 30 years of experience in the international arena from across a wide range of criminal and judicial issues, particularly in the fields of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice.

Career Highlights

At the time of his appointment to the directorship of UNICRI, Dr. Lucas was the Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Chief of the INCB Secretariat. Dr. Lucas held this role from February 2010 until June 2011.

Prior to this, Dr. Lucas was the Representative of the UNODC Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSAF), Pretoria from November 2004 to February 2010. ROSAF covers 11 countries in the Southern Africa region. Dr. Lucas worked to implement the Office Strategic Programme structured around six key objectives: strengthening legislative, prosecution and judicial capacity of countries for the adoption and implementation of UN conventions and instruments on drug control, organised crime, corruption, terrorism and money laundering; assisting countries in reducing illicit drug trafficking and in the control of precursor chemicals; enhancing the capacity to counter drug use and related HIV/AIDS; enhancing the capacity to counter trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, and the trafficking in organs; reducing domestic violence; and promoting victim empowerment. During his tenure, he established and opened 14 new project offices in 6 countries with an exponential growth in programme portfolio from US$7 million to US$42.5 million.

From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Lucas served as Chief of the Commissions, Secretariat Section, encompassing the functions of Secretary, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and Secretary, Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the two principal UN policy-making organs on drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice. During his time in this position, Dr. Lucas also served as Secretary for the Tenth United Nations Conference on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. In 2002, he served as Secretary to the Plenipotentiary Conference for the Adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (The Palermo Convention).

Dr. Lucas began his professional career in 1982 with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Switzerland and joined the United Nations in 1984 as Associate Social Affairs Officer in the then-United Nations Division of Narcotic Drugs. Subsequently, he served in various capacities, including as Legal and First Officer for the policy-making organs of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and as Senior Programme Management Officer in the Office of the Executive Director/Director-General of the then-Office on Drug Control and Crime Prevention/United Nations Office at Vienna.


Dr. Lucas holds a diploma from the University of Lyon, France, a BA degree from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, an MA in Political Science from Acadia University, Canada, and a PhD degree in International Law/Economics from the Graduate Institute for International Studies (IUHEI), Geneva, Switzerland.

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