Global Leaders Forum
Penn Law is committed to providing a forum for today’s Global Decision Makers. These global thought leaders have shaped important laws, policies, and institutions around the world.
Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Ms. Bangura has over 20 years of policy, diplomatic and practical experience in the field of governance, conflict resolution and reconciliation in Africa. Ms. Bangura has been instrumental in developing national programs on affordable health, advocating for the elimination of genital mutilation, and managing her country’s Peace Building Commission.
Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO
As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova is actively engaged in international efforts to advance gender equality, quality education for all, and combat terrorist financing by preventing the illicit traffic of cultural goods. Bokova was the first Eastern European to lead UNESCO.
Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to Iran; Former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief; Former UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions
Jahangir is known globally as Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer. Jahangir continues to face death threats for her work on behalf of women, children, and minorities, and her efforts to reform the pernicious Hudood Ordinance (crimes of honor and blasphemy in Pakistan).
Hina Jilani, Former UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Human Rights Defenders
Jilani is a pioneering lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner, a leading activist in Pakistan’s women’s movement and international champion of human rights. She founded Pakistan’s first all-women law firm; first legal aid centre; and national Human Rights Commission.
Moushira Khattab, former Minister of Family & Population of Egypt, Former Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, and Former Ambassador
Khattab is a world-renowned human rights activist advocating the rights of children and women and the former Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child based at the UN Headquarters in Geneva.
Maria Emma Mejía Vélez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations in New York
Ambassador Mejía has held high government positions for over two decades, dedicating most of her career to peace and Latin-American foreign affairs issues. She played a vital role in negotiating the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC opposition to end the fifty-year conflict.
Navi Pillay, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
In her native South Africa, Ms. Pillay contributed to the inclusion of the equality clause in the country’s Constitution that prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. Her career has focused on children, detainees, victims of torture and of domestic violence, and a range of economic, social and cultural rights.
Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Former President of Ireland
Robinson was recently named UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoys on El Niño and Climate. She serves as the Chairman of the Institute for Human Rights and Business; President of the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice.
Melanne Verveer, Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
Current Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University. Verveer previously served as Executive Director of People for the American Way, where she was involved in the passage of important civil rights legislation.