A global advocate for freedom, justice, and development for two decades, Mabel van Oranje is the initiator and chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. She is also cofounder and the executive chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the following advisory boards: the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Crisis Action, Global Witness, the Malala Fund, and The Elders.
In 1993, van Oranje founded the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans and was its chief executive officer until 1997. She joined the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels as executive director in 1997, and became Open Society’s London-based international advocacy director in 2003. From 2008 until 2012, she was the first chief executive officer of The Elders. Van Oranje 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 fought against HIV/AIDS and led global efforts to establish the International Criminal Court in 2002.
Van Oranje holds MAs in economics and political science (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. In 2005, the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader. In 2014, she received a Skoll Award, and the John Diefenbaker Award for her work with Girls Not Brides.