Jody Williams | Omega

Jody Williams

Jody Williams won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her efforts to eradicate landmines. At the time, she was only the 10th woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

An organizer, activist, teacher and writer, Williams is an internationally recognized speaker on the power of individuals to bring about dramatic change in the world. She served as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which began in early 1992 with two non-governmental organizations and a staff of one: Jody Williams.

She oversaw the growth of the coalition to more than 1,300 organizations working together from 95 countries to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. Working in an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), she served as a chief strategist and spokesperson for the ICBL as it dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during a diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. Three weeks later, she and the ICBL were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Since February 1998, Williams has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, speaking on its behalf all over the world. She is also a distinguished visiting professor of social work and global justice, in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston.

Before beginning the ICBL, Williams  worked for 11 years to build public awareness about the United States' policy toward Central America. From 1986 to 1992, she developed and directed humanitarian relief projects as the deputy director of the Los Angeles-based Medical Aid for El Salvador.

From 1984 to 1986, she co-coordinated the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project, leading fact-finding delegations to the region. Before that, Williams taught Spanish, as well as English as a Second Language, in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Williams continues to be recognized for her contributions to human rights and global security. She is the recipient of 14 honorary degrees, among other recognitions. In 2004, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

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