In Loving Memory of
Advocate Karen McKenzie
It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Advocate Karen McKenzie, former Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat. A proud South African, Advocate McKenzie worked tirelessly for over a decade with Commonwealth member states to promote Commonwealth values and principles.
Post-apartheid, she served in the Government of South Africa’s Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Police. She regarded serving in the first and second democratic governments of South Africa, under the leadership of Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, as immense privileges and life affirming experiences.
A lawyer by training, she practiced as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. She was the former, and only female Police Ombudsman for South Africa. She was a member of the Interpol Group of Experts on Corruption; an Expert Adviser to the African Commission on Human Rights and People’s Rights; a member of the drafting team for the Robben Island Guidelines on the Prohibition and prevention of torture in Africa; and established the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum. As a former international development consultant, she worked on projects for UNICEF, UN Women, UNDOC, the EU and several governments.
She was survived by her daughter Taila-Jordan, family, friends and colleagues by whom she will be missed.