Born June 26, 1950 in Bad Aussee.
Manfred Nowak is currently one of the most important human rights advocates and teachers in Austria. In 1992, along with Felix Ermacora, and Hannes Tretter he founded the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights at the University of Vienna. The Boltzmann Institute received the Bruno Kreisky Prize in 1995 for their exceptional efforts to ensure human rights. Their research projects focusing on the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Herzegovina were especially significant.
As a founding member and co-director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, Manfred Nowak was central to the development of human rights research and educational programs in Austria. Professor Nowak also had an impact internationally.
In 1973 he received a doctors degree in law, as well as becoming an assistant professor at the Institute for Constitutional Law at the University of Vienna. He received his Masters of Laws degree from Columbia University in 1975, as well as a state doctorate, which qualified him to teach law at the University of Vienna in 1986.
From 1993 to 2001 Nowak was an expert for the UN committee on missing persons. From 1996 until 2003 he was a judge in Bosnia-Herzegovina. From 2001 until 2006 he was a legal adviser for the human rights group against poverty, which is part of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. He was also a UN expert on missing persons. Since 2004 Nowak has been a special reporter for the UN on torture. He is also the chair of a commission of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Nowak was a guest professor at the University of Lund and Venice, and received the UNESCO prize in 1994 for his scholarly work on human rights.
Since 2008 Nowak lead an interdisciplinary research platform titled „Human Rights in the European Context“ at the University of Vienna. He is a member of the Austrian monitoring committee, which upholds Article 33 of the UN agreement on rights of people with disabilities. Since 2009 he has worked with the coordinating committee of the UN special forces. He has been Vice President of UNESCO in Austria since 2010.