President Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and the first female, President of Ireland from 1990-1997. She served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. After serving the UN, President Robinson formed Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative. The organization fostered equitable trade, promoted the right to health and worked to strengthen women’s leadership. Currently, Robinson serves as the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. She is also the Chair of the Institute for Human Rights and Business and the International Institute for Environment and Development, founding member and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, and Chancellor of the University of Dublin. In March 2013, she also became the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to the Great Lakes region of Africa. Among her many awards and recognitions, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2002, Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscious Award for her work in promoting human rights in 2004, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009.
Robinson earned degrees from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and King’s Inns Dublin, and she earned her LL.M. from Harvard Law School, to which she won a fellowship in 1967.
Photo credit: World Economic Forum