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Case Western Reserve University Awards 2009 Inamori Ethics Prize to Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, also known for her work in health care, women’s leadership and Anglo-Irish relations, is second honoree of this international ethics prize


Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Prize Ceremony and Public Lecture
12:30 p.m.
Severance Hall

The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University has named global human rights, health care, sustainability and corporate responsibility advocate Mary Robinson the recipient of the 2009 Inamori Ethics Prize. A former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Robinson was also the first female president of Ireland and helped change the face of Anglo-Irish relations there.

Robinson is one of twelve members of Nelson Mandela’s organization, The Elders. Mandela says of this group, "Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair."

Robinson is known most recently for her work with Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative. She founded the nonprofit to promote equitable trade, humane practices in the work environment, corporate responsibility and women’s leadership. "Mary Robinson embodies the ideal of global ethical leadership," said Shannon French, director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, which oversees the award’s selection process. "She is widely recognized as one of the most eloquent and passionate defenders of human rights in the world."

The Inamori Ethics Prize was first awarded in 2008, when Dr. Francis S. Collins, a physician-geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project, was recognized at Case Western Reserve. The prize honors ethical leaders whose actions and influence have greatly improved the condition of humankind.

Professor of Practice in International Affairs at Columbia University, Robinson, 64, Chairs the GAVI Alliance Board to improve the health of children worldwide and is honorary president of Oxfam International. This spring, she served as Honorary Chair of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit.

After being presented with the Inamori Ethics Prize, Robinson will give a public lecture on "New Challenges to Human Rights in the 21st Century".