Country of residence
Mirga was born in a small Roma settlement in Czarna Gora, Poland in 1954 to Polish Romani parents. He became the first Romani student at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, completed his studies in the history and philosophy department (1976-1980). He has been actively involved in the Romani movement since his days as a student.
As a student, teacher, writer and activist, Mr. Mirga has a longstanding practical connection to Roma education. He has taught at Jagiellonian University in Poland and Rutgers University in the United States and written extensively on issues related to Roma, including Roma education, from the perspective of sociology, political science, human rights and public policy.
Mr. Mirga has engaged with Roma issues in his native Poland and more broadly across Europe. He has served as a leading expert and advisor on Roma issues to the Government of Poland, the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the OSCE. From 2006-13, he served as OSCE ODIHR Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues and chief of the ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues. He is currently the Chair of the Board of the Roma Education Fund (REF).