Gerd Oberleitner, born 1967, holds a doctoral degree in law of the University of Graz (1996). After an internship at the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Geneva and research at the International Labour Organisation he worked as a research assistant at the Institute of International Law and International Relations of the University of Graz from 1993 to 1995. He is an alumnus of the Academy of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence (1997). From 1998 to 1999 he worked as Legal Advisor in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna before returning to the Institute of International Law and International Relations of the University of Graz. From 1999 to 2002 he was also the Executive Secretary of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) in Graz, where he serves currently on the executive board.
Between 1993 and 1999 he worked in projects of the Austrian development co-operation in Uganda and Gambia, and from 1993 to 2004 he was a member of the Advisory Council for Development Cooperation of the government of Styria. From 1993 to 2003 he was also member of the executive board of the Austrian Committee of World University Service (WUS).
From 2003 to 2004 he was a Lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Upon his return to the Institute of International Law and International Relations of the University of Graz as assistant professor he maintained contacts with the LSE as Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights from 2004 to 2007. In 2009 he was a Visiting Scholar at the European Inter-University Centre in Venice and in 2010 Visiting Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Prishtina (Kosovo) and Visiting Scholar at the Centre d'études des politiques étrangères et de sécurité, Université du Quebéc à Montréal and in 2016 Visiting Professor at Rutgers University.
Since 2013 he is Associate Professor of International Law and the Law of International Organisations at the University of Graz and since 2016 UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy at the University of Graz.
His teaches in the Global Campus of Regional Human Rights Master Programmes (European Master Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice; European Regional Master Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South-East Europe, Sarajevo; and Master in Human Rights and Democratisation in Latin-America and the Carribean, Buenos Aires) and at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Stadtschlaining, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the universities of Ljubljana, Addis Abeba and SciencesPo (Paris). Since 2003 he is also a course instructor for web-based distance learning courses of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) (Cambridge, MA).
His main research interests are in the areas of international human rights law, the law of international organisations, international humanitarian law, (human) security, and the interplay of international law and international relations. He is a member of the Austrian Association of International Law and the German Society for International Law, as well as of the Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS).