The IHRA currently has 35 Member Countries and 10 Observer Countries. The national government of each country forms a delegation, generally consisting of leading educators, academics and representatives of museums and memorials. Many delegates also have specific areas of expertise, for example the genocide of the Roma; antisemitism and Holocaust denial; and other genocides and crimes against humanity.
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. The Plenary is the official decision-making body of the IHRA, consisting of the Head of Delegation from each IHRA Member Country, and responsible for adopting recommendations and decisions made by IHRA experts.
These experts meet in specialist Working Groups and Committees in the days leading up to Plenary Session, and work together remotely on multinational projects throughout the rest of the year. The unique composition of the IHRA means it is uniquely placed to take the lead on issues related to Holocaust education, research and remembrance in the international political arena.
Working Groups and Committees
The IHRA’s network of delegates is divided into three Working Groups. The Academic, Education, and Memorials and Museums Working Groups are each tasked with following developments in their respective sectors, identifying priority areas and making recommendations to the IHRA Plenary regarding how the IHRA can most effectively make an impact.
In addition to their core affiliation to these Working Groups, delegates also bring their expertise to the IHRA’s specialized Committees. The Committee on the Genocide of the Roma, the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, and the Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity 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.
Other, more temporary expert-led groups form to coordinate specific IHRA initiatives, such as various IHRA Projects.
Croatia holds the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from 1 March 2023–29 February 2024. The IHRA Co-Chairs are Ambassador Terezija Gras and Sara Lustig.
Since 2017, Ambassador Terezija Gras has served as State Secretary for European Affairs, International Relations and EU Funds at the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia. In this capacity, she led and completed the process of Croatia’s accession to the Schengen Area, the US Visa Waiver Program and most recently, the US Global Entry Program. Ms. Gras joined the Ministry of the Interior from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. In more than twenty years of her diplomatic career, Ms. Gras has served as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and Advisor to the Chief Negotiator for Croatia’s accession to the EU. Her assignments abroad included postings at the Permanent Representation of Croatia to the EU and at the Croatian Embassy in Germany, first in Bonn and for a second term in Berlin.
Ambassador Gras holds a Master’s Degree in German Language and Literature and General Linguistics and a Master’s Degree in German History, Politics and Literature from the University of Zagreb. She completed a one-year programme at the Diplomatic Academy in Zagreb and the Diplomatenkolleg at the Diplomatic Academy of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Furthermore, she earned a certificate in European Governance from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, as well as Harvard Kennedy School certificates in Leadership for the 21st Century and the Digitization of Public Services.
Within the Future of Remembrance Initiative, which is the hallmark of the Croatian IHRA Presidency, Ms. Gras’s priorities as Co-Chair of the IHRA will be the roll-out of the campaign on countering racism and antisemitism in sports, enforcement of the three IHRA working definitions, and outreach of the IHRA to its permanent international partners.
Sara Lustig is the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia for Holocaust Issues, Combating Antisemitism, and Relations with Jewish Organizations and Communities. In this capacity, she serves as Croatia’s representative in the EU Working Group on the implementation of the EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life. Yielding over a decade of experience within the Croatian government, she has served as advisor to Ministers of European and Foreign Affairs, the Office of the President and Senior Expert Advisor at the Office of the National Security Council.
Ms. Lustig started her career in book publishing in New York City, where she worked as a literary agent and in various roles at HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Welcome Books, later an imprint of Rizzoli International Publications, while simultaneously obtaining a Master of Science in Book Publishing and Editing at NYU, with a dissertation on intellectual property and developing technology. In 2006, Ms. Lustig decided to continue her legal education at New York Law School, where her mentor was Professor Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU (1991-2008). Inspired by the courage of Professor Strossen’s convictions, Ms. Lustig moved to The Hague in order to work as assistant defense counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as she completed her Juris Doctor at Leiden University, where she specialized in International Humanitarian Law. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from Duke University.
Our generation is the last to have had the opportunity to interact and learn from Holocaust survivors. Driven by this urgency and knowing that the collective truth of the survivors will forever counter Holocaust denial and distortion, Ms. Lustig's mission is ensuring that the legacy of the Shoah is preserved by next generations and that testimony continues to make an impact, especially through advancements in digital technologies. Her priorities as Co-Chair of the IHRA are developing the future of global Holocaust remembrance, focusing on the IHRA’s original goal of preventing genocide and mass atrocity crimes, strengthening the #ProtectTheFacts campaign against Holocaust distortion and the IHRA’s outreach to its permanent international partners.
Honorary Chairman and Advisor to the IHRA
The IHRA has an Honorary Chairman, Professor Yehuda Bauer, and an Advisor to the IHRA, Dr. Robert Williams. The Honorary Chairman and the Advisor to the IHRA are available to consultant with and guide the IHRA Chair, Secretary General and Working Group members on key content issues.