Mabel van Oranje
Mabel van Oranje is a serial entrepreneur for social change working globally to advance equality, freedom and justice. During the last decade, she played a catalytic role in the global movement to end child marriage, including the creation and growth of three entities central to efforts to support girls’ futures: Girls Not Brides (2011), the Girls First Fund (2018) and VOW for Girls (2018). Mabel is currently a board member of Fondation Chanel, the Lego Foundation, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and VOW for Girls (Chair). She is also an advisor to Apolitical Academy Global, Co-Impact’s Gender Fund, Global Witness, the Graca Machel Trust and The Elders. Mabel is a global champion of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
In 1993, Mabel founded the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans and was its CEO until 1997. In 1997, she joined the Open Society Foundations as Executive Director of its Brussels office, becoming OSF’s London-based International Advocacy Director in 2003. From 2008 until 2012, she was the first CEO of The Elders.
Mabel helped found the Dutch foundation War Child (1995), the global NGO coalition ‘Publish What You Pay’ (2002) and the Independent Commission on Turkey (2004). She has been actively engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS and in global efforts that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. Her former (advisory) board memberships include the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Crisis Action, Interpeace, the Jo Cox Foundation, Malala Fund, the Open Society Foundations, the Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe, and Trust Women.
Mabel is founding patron of the Dutch Masters Foundation, a UK charity which champions the advancement of Dutch arts by supporting three of the Netherlands’ leading cultural organisations: the Nederlands Dance Theater, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis.
Mabel is also a patron of The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN).
Mabel holds masters degrees in Economics and in Political Science (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. She holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Glasgow Caledonian University (2018).
Mabel is the author of ‘Publishing What We Learned’ (with Henry Parham, 2009); the Dutch pamphlet ‘In vrijheid blijven geloven’ (March 2007); ‘Building Donor Partnerships’ (with Terrice Bassler, 1997); and numerous articles and op-eds. In 2019, she delivered the annual ‘jaarthematekst’ at the request of The National Committee for 4 and 5 May, on the occasion of 75 years of freedom of the Netherlands.
The World Economic Forum named Mabel one of its Global Leaders for Tomorrow (2003) and one of its Young Global Leaders (2005). Mabel received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2014), the John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award (2014) and the ICRW Champions for Change Award for Innovation (2015) for her work with Girls Not Brides. Her work on HIV/AIDS was acknowledged with the World Without AIDS Award from the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung (2017) and the AmsterdamDiner Award (2018). On behalf of Girls Not Brides, she accepted the Dutch Geuzenpenning (2018). In 2020, she received a Her Hero Lifetime Achievement Award from Huntington National Bank. In 2018 and 2019, she was included in Apolitical’s Gender Equality Top 100.
Mabel lives in London with her two daughters. You can follow her tweets @MabelvanOranje