Former president of Ireland and renowned human rights advocate Mary Robinson will speak about global justice and human rights issues tonight at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall.

Robinson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2009 and is currently on the Council of Women World Leaders. A former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Robinson will speak about the pressing need for human rights advocacy in international politics.

According to Orfaela Foundation representative Catherine Brozowski, Robinson possesses extensive knowledge about global topics and has an extensive background of effective foreign policy.

“President Robinson is very much admired for her compassion and for her desire to spread the word about human rights,” Brozowski said. “[She] was a remarkably successful president and leader in Ireland and she has been equally effective in her role with the United Nations. She approaches complex issues with humanity [and] is making a transformational impact on the world.”

Additionally, Robinson presides over the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice — an organization that addresses human rights and climate issues — and serves as honorary president of Oxfam International, board chair of the Institute of Human Rights and Business and founder of the Ethical Globalization Initiative.

Global & international studies professor Richard Appelbaum said Robinson’s presidency has overseen improved foreign relations and humanitarian policies that have united various groups that were previously divided by religious, social or economic differences.

“She was the first woman president of Ireland and has become a leading voice — particularly a leading woman’s voice — in global justice,” Appelbaum said.

Robinson’s lecture will give the campus an opportunity to learn about major international initiatives, according to Arts & Lectures Associate Director Roman Baratiak.

“An important thing for her is to get human rights on top of the agenda when it comes to issues of trade and relations between countries,” Baratiak said.