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Mary Robinson

UN Special Envoy for Climate Change


Time magazine called her a “hero and icon,” and lauded her in 2005 as one of the top 100 men and women whose “power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.” Mary Robinson has charted a celebrated course for positive change in such diverse yet intrinsically linked areas as climate justice, human rights and corporate responsibility. In her many leadership roles—most notably as the first female president of Ireland, former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, and now President and Chair of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, devoted to building an inclusive low-carbon growth society—Robinson has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the global community that has garnered her universal accolades as well as international recognition as one of today’s most dynamic, influential and impactful social changemakers.

Although faced with an often-rocky societal landscape, Robinson has remained intrepid and proven unstoppable in her quest to enable a green economy and nurture an equal-rights-for-all world. Toward her cause, she has empowered the disadvantaged, created livelihoods, boosted equality and expanded access to sustainable energy and affordable, nutritious food sources. She has argued landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights, founded Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, and introduced the human rights agenda into the core of UN activities. And she continues to serve as a member of the Elders, a highly respected independent group of world leaders focused on peace and human rights and founded by Nelson Mandela. Recently, Robinson was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Envoy for Climate Change, and published her second book, a memoir entitled Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice, which chronicles her career as a young lawyer crusading for women’s rights.

Robinson’s remarkable accomplishments as an academic, legislator, lawyer and humanitarian have not gone unnoticed. Among her numerous awards and honors are the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, and Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences—the last for her defense of “ethics in the field of politics and academic research” and her “tireless efforts to bring about a world without borders.”

Robinson brings her message to the masses as a charismatic, compelling and consummate speaker, commanding the attention of audiences of all generations, from eager college students embarking on their professional lives to seasoned corporate executives looking to make their mark on society. Her impressive knowledge and striking forthrightness intertwine in brilliant addresses that effectively articulate the importance of both social and corporate responsibility. Whether she’s delivering stirring keynote speeches about advocating for the poor, leading lively discussions about industry’s ecological impact on our planet, or talking candidly about the critical role leadership plays in improving human rights and education, she always engages, always enlightens and always inspires.


Enterprise & Ethical Globalization

Making Human Rights the Compass for All Ethical Globalization

A Woman Leading the World

Corporate Social Responsibility

Climate Justice

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