Mary Robinson keynote speaker
Mary Robinson keynote speaker

Mary Robinson

Former President of Ireland; Chair of The Elders; Former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change

Speaker Themes

  • Climate Justice
  • Human Rights
  • Gender Equality
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Geopolitics

Travels from

Dublin, Ireland


Mary Robinson is perhaps best known for being Ireland’s first female President. Now one of the world’s best regarded advocates for climate justice, Robinson heads up the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice. The foundation is dedicated to facilitating action on climate justice, and enabling those most affected by the damage of climate change to make their voices heard.

As a speaker, Mary Robinson is highly regarded all over the world. Her passionate speeches never fail to captivate an audience, as demonstrated by the standing ovation she received for her TED talk on why climate change is a threat to human life. Mary Robinson speaks on a wide range of topics, with a focus on sustainability and the importance of nations working together to fight the impact of climate change.

Robinson’s book, Climate Justice, was well received by some of the biggest names in the environmental and human rights communities. She was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama.

During her seven year tenure as the President of Ireland (from 1990 to 1997) she worked hard to transform the country, helping to usher in a new period of growth. Following this, Robinson was appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights where she held the role for five years. Robinson also served as Chair of The Elders.

Other United Nations roles have included the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, during which time Mary Robinson was responsible for alerting the world to the dangers of extreme weather, and highlighting the importance of tackling climate change. 

Mary Robinson has worked on landmark cases focused on women’s rights as well as human rights in general, and has served in the Irish Senate for over 20 years. Educated at Trinity, King’s Inns Dublin and Harvard Law School, Mary Robinson now has over 40 honorary doctorates to her name alongside the Indira Gandhi and Sydney Peace Prizes.  

‘Climate Justice: A Man Made Problem with a Feminist Solution’ written by Mary Robinson and  published in October 2018, was shortlisted for the Irish book awards. In her book she identifies the ways in which the battle for climate justice can be found at grassroots levels predominantly among women, many of whom have already made strides for change. 

For more information on Mary Robinson contact VBQ Speakers founding agent Leo von Bülow-Quirk.


When speaking, Mary Robinson is often praised for her passionate, creative and powerful delivery. By drawing on her experiences as a head of state as well as a grandmother, Robinson shares her thoughts about the importance of climate justice, human rights, gender equality, and corporate responsibility with heartfelt compassion.

Mary Robinson helps audiences to understand the threat that climate change poses, and spurs all those who listen into action and debate. Her speeches are known to help expand mindsets and spark new conversations, leaving audiences with new hope and ambition to help them change the future.

Contact us about Mary Robinson