Jody Williams is the Nobel Peace Prize-winning aid worker who was lauded for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Human rights activist and keynote speaker Jody can offer wisdom on topics such as global security, sustainability and the environment and gender equality. A robust crusader Jody is an inspirational speaker.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams is a human rights activist and keynote speaker who travels the world expounding her wisdom and lobbying for improvements in human rights and global security. She was honoured only one week after a historic treaty banning landmines was signed by 122 nations.
On International Women’s Day in 2019, a Council on Foreign Relations blog recognised Jody Williams as one of six women 'Who Shaped the Contemporary World Order'. Capturing key elements of her success in creating and leading the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, it stated that “Williams was a triple threat: she had a flair for activism, was an effective organiser, and did not mind if people found her difficult.”
Continuing to carry those traits in her work with the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Jody brings together six women recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize to use their influence and access to shine a light on and support grass roots women’s organizations in conflict situations around the world who are working for durable peace with justice and equality. Jody has served as its chairwoman since its launch in January of 2006.
More recently, in April of 2013, she co-founded and helped launch the International Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. That campaign is an effort to preemptively ban autonomous weapons systems – Killer Robots - that on their own could select and attack human beings. Machines have historically been created to be of service to people and are not moral beings. Humans – as supposedly moral beings – should not delegate target and kill decisions of human beings to machines.
Jody has been a professor at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work since 2003. She is the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professor of Peace and Social Justice, which is her area of focus in her teaching.
Jody has received many awards and recognitions among them 21 honorary degrees, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Award, 2017; the Olof Palme Award, 2014, Fundació Internacional Olof Palme, Barcelona Spain; Global Women’s Rights Award, 2006, Feminist Majority Foundation; Public Service Award, Center for Public Policy & Administration, 2005, University of Massachusetts Amherst; 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, 2004, Forbes Magazine. In remberance of the anniversary of Albert Einstein’s 100th birthday, she was named one of the “100 Einstein Geniuses.”
A prolific writer, her articles, chapters and opinion pieces are too numerous to list individually, in magazines and newspapers around the world – including The Review of the International Red Cross, Columbia University’s Journal of Politics and Society, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Toronto Globe & Mail, The Irish Times, The Guardian (UK), The LA Times, La Jornada (Mexico) to name just a few.
Jody has written and or edited and contributed to several books related to her field. In 2013 Williams published her memoir, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, which charts her life from very modest beginnings to her receipt of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize along with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She says that the primary purpose of the book is to help people everywhere understand that they have the power to contribute to change. All they have to do is seize it and run with it.