January 27, 2020

Mary Robinson, one of the world’s most respected advocates for climate justice and Ireland’s first female president, will deliver the Alice Pope Shade Lecture, How Faith has Impacted My Life, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the Degenstein Center Theater at Susquehanna University.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Robinson first rose to international prominence as president of Ireland from 1990–97. She is widely regarded as a groundbreaking and transformational leader who elevated the public role of the Irish presidency, helping to shape modern Ireland in a period of rapid and unprecedented economic growth.

Robinson currently leads the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education and advocacy for the poor and disempowered in the world who are disproportionately threatened by climate change.

Robinson previously served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, sounding the alarm as extreme weather events dramatically affected the world’s most vulnerable populations. She currently serves on numerous boards, including the European Climate Foundation, and she chairs the newly formed Centre for Sport and Human Rights. She is also a founding member and current chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders formed by Nelson Mandela to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

Since 1998, Robinson has served as chancellor of The University of Dublin (Trinity College). A graduate of King’s Inns, Dublin, and Harvard Law School, she holds honorary doctorates from more than 40 of the world’s most elite universities and is the recipient of the Indira Gandhi and Sydney peace prizes.

President Barack Obama, upon awarding Robinson the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, praised her as an “advocate for the forgotten and the ignored,” noting that she has “not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world.”

Robinson’s 2018 book, Climate Justice, has received positive reviews from former world leaders and the environmental and human rights community.

Susquehanna’s annual Shade lecture is made possible by the Alice Pope Shade Fund, established in 1983 by her daughter and Susquehanna graduate, Rebecca Shade ’54 Mignot, to bring nationally and internationally renowned religious scholars and leaders to campus.