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Mabel van Oranje

Board Chair, Girls Not Brides

Skoll Awardee


A global advocate for freedom, justice and development for over two decades, Mabel van Oranje is the initiator and chair of ‘Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage’. She is also co-founder and the executive chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the (advisory) boards of Global Witness, the Malala Fund, the Open Society Foundations, the Sigrid Rausing Trust and The Elders.

In 1993, Mabel founded the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans and was its CEO to 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. Former (advisory) board memberships include Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Crisis Action, Interpeace, 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 Dutch arts by supporting three of the Netherlands’ leading cultural organisations: Nederlands Dance Theater, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis.

The World Economic Forum named her one of its Global Leaders for Tomorrow (2003), Young Global Leader (2005). Mabel received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2014), 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. In 2017, she received the World Without AIDS Award from the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung.

Regional Focus

North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa