Mary Robinson was elected President of Ireland and was the first woman to serve in that
post, which she held from 1990 to 1997. After leaving office she was appointed United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position she held until 2002. She is
presently Professor of Practice in International Affairs at Columbia University and works
with the Ethical Globalization Initiative to promote equitable trade and development,
more humane migration policies and better responses to HIV / AIDS in Africa.
Mrs. Robinson served on the Dublin City Council and as a member of the Senead
Eireann (Irish Senate,) an office she held for 20 years until 1989. She was an extremely
popular president of Ireland and an effective advocate as U.N. High Commissioner, the
first such officer to visit Tibet.
A lawyer by profession, Mrs. Robinson is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and was
appointed Reid Professor of Law in the college, a prestigious appointment, while still in