Mary Robinson is President of the Foundation and Chair of the Board of Trustees. She is a former President of Ireland and a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and founder and President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative. She has spent most of her life as a human rights advocate. As an academic, legislator and barrister, she sought to use law as an instrument for social change, arguing landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court in Luxembourg as well as in the Irish courts. A committed European, she also served on expert European Community and Irish parliamentary committees.