We use our own and third-party cookies, analysing browsing habits on our website, with the purpose of guaranteeing the quality, safety and improvement of the services offered on it. In the event that the user does not expressly state whether or not they accept the installation of cookies and continues to use our website, it will be understood that they have given consent, expressly informing them of the possibility to allow, block or delete cookies installed on their computer in their browser settings. You can find more information regarding this matter by reading our “Cookie Policy”.

Robinson, Mary Robinson, Mary

Robinson, Mary

President of Ireland (1990-1997) • Former Vice President of the Club of Madrid

Mary Robinson

President of Ireland (1990-1997)

Date and Place of Birth:

21 May 1944, Ballina (Ireland).


Mrs. Robinson holds a M.A., and LL.B from Trinity College in Dublin (1967).

Professional Experience:

Mary Robinson has been Professor of Penal Legislation, Constitutional and Criminal Law, and the Law of Evidence at Trinity College. She is the co-founder of the Irish Centre for European Law at Trinity College (1988). She is currently the Chancellor of Trinity College University in Dublin.

Political Career:

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, and the first female President. 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.

Mary Robinson’s newest projects are the Ethical Globalization Initiative (EGI), which seeks to incorporate human rights into the globalization process and support capacity building and good governance in developing countries; and the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those many victims of climate change who are usually forgotten - the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world.


Mrs. Robinson is the recipient of numerous awards from around the world. Most recently, in July 2009, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama.

She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society. Mrs. Robinson has also been invited to form part of the Elders Group. 





Club de Madrid is committed to advancing democracy worldwide. With your
support, we can advance democratic values and foster social and political change.
You can help ensure a sustainable future for the next generations by joining our
efforts in a variety of ways. Here’s how you can make a difference.