Margo Picken has worked in the field of human rights for much of her professional career. Most recently, she worked for the United Nations as director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia from 2001 to 2007. She was responsible for the human rights programme of the Ford Foundation from 1988 to 1995. She established and directed the Office of Amnesty International at the United Nations in New York from 1976 to 1987. She is the author of several articles on human rights, and has served on the boards of a number of non-governmental organisations. She is a graduate of the University of London with a Masters Degree in International Relations.