John Knox, former Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment (2012-2018)
Mr. John Knox
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
© Photo OHCHR
Mr. John Knox
was the first Independent Expert on human rights and the environment appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2012. The mandate was renewed for another three years in 2015 as Special Rapporteur. Mr. Knox was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur in 2015.
John Knox is the Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University, in North Carolina, where he teaches and writes on human rights law, environmental law, and their relationship with one another.
He received his law degree from Stanford University in 1987. After graduation, he worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of State, where he participated in the negotiation of the Human Rights Defenders Declaration, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. Since becoming a professor in 1998, he has advised a number of international and national bodies, including by serving as the chair of a national advisory committee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as special counsel to the Center for International Environmental Law, and as a pro bono advisor on human rights and climate change to the Government of the Maldives.