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College hosts former president of Ireland, U.N. commissioner

Friday, March 2, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—A former world leader and lifelong advocate for human rights will give a lecture March 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Hood College.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, will give a talk entitled "The Global Village in the 21st Century." The lecture will take place in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall and will be followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing.

Robinson served as a senator for 20 years prior to her seven-year tenure as the first women president of Ireland. She is widely viewed as instrumental in revitalizing and liberalizing the presidency, which before her term was regarded as being little more than a retirement position for prominent politicians. As high commissioner, Robinson gave priority to implementing the secretary-general's reform proposal to integrate human rights into all United Nations activities.

A forceful advocate for gender equality, women's participation in peace-building and human dignity, Robinson is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a CARE Humanitarian Award in recognition of her efforts in Somalia following the crisis there in 1992; the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor—awarded by President Barak Obama in recognition of her significant contributions to the nation and the world; Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences prize for her work as a global human rights campaigner; and Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for her work in promoting human rights.

She serves as chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle for global justice for the poor, the disempowered and the marginalized throughout the world.

Robinson is also a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders that includes Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu who contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to some of the world's toughest problems with the goal of making the world a better place.

The lecture is supported by the Virginia E. Lewis Fund and sponsored by Hood's political science department.

Admission to the lecture is by ticket only; a limited number of tickets will be available for general admission beginning March 19 by calling (301) 696-3130.

For more information, contact Janis Judson, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, at (301) 696-3721, or by e-mail at jjudson@hood.edu.