Ms. Jody Williams is an eloquent and outspoken advocate for peace and human rights issues. The founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), she is one of only ten women who have received the Nobel Peace Prize and only the third woman from the U.S.
She has overseen the growth of the ICBL to more than 1,300 NGOs in over eighty-five countries and served as the chief strategist and spokesperson for the campaign. Working in an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ICBL achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during the diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. Ms. Williams now serves as Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, speaking on its behalf all over the world.
She has written and spoken extensively on the problem of landmines and the movement to ban them. She has spoken in various forums, including at the United Nations, the European Parliament, and the Organization of African Unity. Ms. Williams co-authored a seminal study, based on two years of field research in four mine-affected countries, detailing the socio-economic consequences of landmine contamination. She has written articles for journals produced by the United Nations and the ICRC, among others.
Prior to beginning the ICBL, Mrs. Williams worked for eleven years to build public awareness about U.S. policy toward Central America. From 1986 to 1992, she developed and directed humanitarian relief projects as the deputy director of the Los Angeles-based Medical Aid for El Salvador. In that capacity she developed a network of hospitals in twenty cities across the U.S. that donated medical care to Salvadoran children wounded in the war in that country. From 1984 to1986, she was co-coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project, leading fact-finding delegations to the region. Previously, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Washington, D.C.
Williams has a Master's Degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Washington, D.C., 1984), a Master's Degree in Teaching Spanish and ESL from the School for International Training, (Brattleboro, Vermont, 1976), and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont, 1972).
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum playbill for "A Nobel Evening" from March 20, 2003.
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