Maja Groff is a Senior Legal Officer at the Permanent Bureau, and has worked with the Hague Conference since 2008.Ms Groff’s primary responsibilities focus on Hague Conventions which address the cross-border protection of vulnerable adults (the Hague 2000 Convention) and the cross-border recovery of family maintenance (the Hague 2007 Convention), the International Hague Network of Judges, Information Technology solutions to support Hague children’s Conventions, and work on potential new Conventions or international co-operation mechanisms in the areas of the recognition and enforcement of foreign civil protection orders and the facilitation of access to foreign law. She conducts liaison work with professional bodies and other international organisations and has played a key role in the co-ordination of international conferences and experts groups.
Ms Groff has worked in private practice in general corporate law and finance in New York City, with pro bono involvement in asylum, constitutional and family law. She holds two law degrees, a Bachelor in Civil Law and a Bachelor in Common Law from McGill University (with Great Distinction), as well as degrees from Harvard University (A.B., magna cum laude, with Honors) and Oxford University (M.Sc., with Distinction). She has studied at Sciences Po, Paris (Master de Droit Économique), completed advanced professional training in international humanitarian law, and has studied and worked in international criminal law. Ms Groff has extensive experience in multicultural settings and has completed training and fieldwork in international development. She has participated in a number of United Nations negotiations for various governmental and non-governmental actors.
Ms Groff is a member of the New York Bar, and has served as a member of the International Law and United Nations Committees of the New York City Bar Association.
Ms Groff has authored a number of Permanent Bureau Preliminary Documents, notably on access to foreign law, operational issues under the 1980 Child Abduction Convention and the cross-border recognition and enforcement of civil protection orders. She is the international law correspondent for the Canadian practitioner publication Wilson on Children and the Law (Lexis Nexis), and has lectured on private international law topics and Hague Conventions, public international law, human rights, and access to justice matters at various international venues. She is the doctoral session co-ordinator for the Hague Academy of International Law, Private International Law program (2011 to 2013). She has won a range of scholarships and research grants for academic achievement throughout her academic career.
Ms Groff is a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Club of the Netherlands, and has contributed to various civic and charitable causes, including those assisting at risk children and youth, and addressing corporate social responsibility.
Ms Groff speaks English (native), French, and Spanish.