Irena Ewa Lipowicz
born June 9, 1953, in Gliwice. In 1976 she graduated with honors from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Silesia. In 1981 she obtained the title of Doctor of Law, and in 1992 habilitation. Since 1998 she has been working as a professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and is currently head of its Administrative Law and Local Self-Government Department. She has published more than 50 scholarly papers, lectured at the Universities of Cologne, Athens, Graz, Dresden, and Tübingen. In 2009 she received an honorary doctorate honoris causa form the University of Osnabrück, Germany.
In 1980 she became a member of the Solidarity trade union and is a founding member of the Association of Upper Silesia. In 1991-2000 she was a deputy of the lower house of parliament – the Sejm, a member of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee, which drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, adopted in 1997. Since 1997 she has been Chairman of the Local Government in the Sejm and Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
In 2000-2004 she was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Austria. In 2004-2006 she served as the ambassador of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland for Polish and German relations. In 2008-2010 she was a member of the Committee on Legal Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences and director of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation. Since June 2010 she has served as ombudswoman.
She was awarded, among others, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland, the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.