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Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

As President of Ireland (1990–97), Mary Robinson was the first head of state to visit Somalia following the crisis there in 1992, and brought global media attention to the suffering of Rwandans as the first Head of State to visit the country just after the 1994 genocide.

Later as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997–2002), Robinson integrated human rights into the United Nations system and became renowned as an outspoken activist dedicated to investigating and exposing human rights abuses across the world.

In her eminent and wide-ranging roles as an academic, legislator and barrister, Robinson has always sought to use law as an instrument for social change. She has argued landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights as well as in the Irish courts and the European Court in Luxembourg.

Through her foundation Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Robinson sought to put human rights standards at the heart of global governance and to ensure that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are addressed on the global stage. She also co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders, a network that mobilizes women leaders at the highest levels to promote democracy and gender equality. Her most recent initiative, the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, is a center for education and advocacy on sustainable and people-centred development in the world’s poorest communities.

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. Robinson is a member of the Club of Madrid, a group of global leaders working on governance and conflict issues.

 

THE AURORA PRIZE SELECTION COMMITTEE

Elie Wiesel (1928 – 2016)

First Co-Chair

President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; Nobel Laureate

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Lord Ara Darzi

Chair

Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London

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George Clooney

Honorary Co-Chair

Co-founder, The Sentry; Humanitarian, performer and film maker

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Benjamin Ferencz

Honorary Co-Chair

Lawyer, Human Rights Activist

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Shirin Ebadi

Member

Human Rights Lawyer and Iran's first female judge; Nobel Laureate

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Leymah Gbowee

Member

Nobel Laureate, Liberian peace activist and women’s rights advocate

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Vartan Gregorian
(1934 - 2021)

Member

Co-founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York

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Hina Jilani

Member

Former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders

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Bernard Kouchner

Member

Co-founder, Médecins Sans Frontières; Former French Foreign Minister

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Paul Polman

Member

Co-founder and Chair, IMAGINE; former CEO, Unilever

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John Prendergast

Member

Human Rights Activist and Co-founder, The Sentry

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Mary Robinson

Member

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Former President of Ireland

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Ernesto Zedillo

Member

Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; Former President of Mexico

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Oscar Arias

Honorary Member

Two-time President of Costa Rica; Nobel Laureate

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Valery Gergiev

Honorary Member

Artistic and General Director, Mariinsky Theatre; Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmoniker

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Gareth Evans

Honorary Member

President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group; Former Australian Foreign Minister

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Elie Wiesel (1928 – 2016)

First Co-Chair

President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; Nobel Laureate

Lord Ara Darzi

Chair

Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London