Ireland’s first female president to speak on global ethics
Mary Robinson, the first woman to serve as president of Ireland, will deliver a speech on ethics and global leadership at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, in Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium.
Robinson's speech, "The Future of Ethical Leadership in a Global Society," is being sponsored by the Schreyer Honors College, the Presidential Leadership Academy, the Student Programming Association, and the University Park Allocation Committee.
Robinson was elected as Ireland's seventh president in 1990 for a seven-year term. Halfway through her term in office, her popularity was reported to be at 93 percent among the Irish electorate. She resigned the presidency shortly before the end of her term upon being named the United National High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position she held from 1997 to 2002. Robinson founded and served as president of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Global Initiative, a multi-year initiative focused on placing human rights at the forefront of globalization and in developing countries.
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor in recognition of her humanitarian advocacy. She has also been named a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders tapped to contribute their wisdom and leadership toward tackling global issues including human rights, environmental sustainability, and peace in war-torn regions. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. Members include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Robinson's memoir, "Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice," is being released on March 5. Books will be available for sale that night at Eisenhower Auditorium, and a book signing reception will be held after Robinson's speech.
"A visit from such a global leader provides all members of the Penn State community – students, faculty, residents – an opportunity to hear first-hand from someone whose advocacy and leadership can challenge us to press for the resolution of problems that threaten many regions of the world to the detriment of us all," said Dr. Christian M. M. Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College.
Additional financial support for the lecture is being provided by the Rock Ethics Institute, the International Center for the Study of Terrorism, the Center for Democratic Deliberation, the Department of Women's Studies, the College of Health and Human Development's Women's Leadership Initiative, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Penn State Irish Society.
The speech is free and open to the public but tickets will be required for admission. Tickets will be distributed to Penn State students with a valid ID starting on Monday, February 25. Remaining tickets will be made available to the general public beginning on Friday, March 1. Tickets will be available at the following locations and times: Eisenhower Auditorium, corner of Shortlidge and Eisenhower roads, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; HUB-Robeson Center, on Pollock Road, weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center, corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all on the University Park campus; and the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.