Mary Robinson, first woman President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and founder and President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, has spent most of her life as a human rights advocate. She has been appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-mon as his Special Envoy for Climate Change. She also serves as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. Mary Robinson was educated at the University of Dublin (Trinity College), King’s Inns Dublin, and Harvard Law School. As an academic, member of the Irish Senate, and barrister, she sought to use law as an instrument for social change, arguing landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court in Luxembourg, as well as in the Irish courts.
Mary Robinson is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, and is a member of the Elders, former Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, and a member of the Club of Madrid. She serves on several boards including the European Climate Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society.