"From Peace Talks to Gender Justice"
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Chief Commissioner, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party, McWilliams was elected to a seat at the Multi-Party Peace Negotiations, which led to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in 1998.
After serving as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for five years, McWilliams became chief commissioner for the Human Rights Commission of Northern Ireland in 2005. As a professor of women’s studies, currently on leave from the University of Ulster, her published works focus on domestic violence, human security and the role of political conflict on women’s lives.
Her work has been recognized by a special Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Frank Cousin’s Peace Award and several honorary doctorates. McWilliams is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Michigan.
Updated on 9/29/2010