Mary Robinson is a former President of Ireland. She served for one successive term from 1990-1997, becoming the first woman to hold this office.
Mrs. Robinson was a member of Seanad Éireann (the Upper House of Parliament) from 1969 to 1989. While in Parliament, she served on the Joint Committee on EC Secondary Legislation (1973 – 89), was Chairman of its Social Affairs Sub-Committee (1977 – 87), Chairman of its Legal Affairs Committee (1987 – 89), and member of the Joint Committee on Marital Breakdown (1983 – 85). She was a member of Dublin City Council from 1979 to 1983.
On 3 December 1990, Mary Robinson was inaugurated as the seventh President of Ireland. She resigned in 1997 to take up an appointment as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She served as High Commissioner from 1997 until 2002. Mrs. Robinson has been Honorary President of Oxfam International since 2002, and she is also a founding member and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. She serves on many boards including the Vaccine Fund. Between 2013 and 2016 Mary served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy in three roles; first for the Great Lakes region of Africa, then on Climate Change and most recently as his Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate. Her Foundation, the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, established in 2010, came to a planned end in April 2019. A former President of the International Commission of Jurists and former chair of the Council of Women World Leaders she was President and founder of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative from 2002-2010 and served as Honorary President of Oxfam International from 2002-2012.
She is a member of the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States Barack Obama. President Robinson serves as Patron of the International Science Council and Patron of the Board of the Institute of Human Rights and Business, is an Ambassador for The B Team, in addition to being a board member of several organizations including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Aurora Foundation. She was Chancellor of the University of Dublin from 1998 to 2019. Mary’s memoir, ‘Everybody Matters’ was published in September 2012 and her book, ‘Climate Justice – Hope, Resilience and the Fight for a Sustainable Future’ was published in September 2018.
Ms Robinson is Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice in Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders.