Maria Butler is Executive Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative (@NobelWomen), an international organization that works in solidarity with women’s movements, organizations, and activists around the world for peace, justice, and equality.
Maria joined NWI in May 2022, following more than a decade at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the oldest women’s peace organization in the world.
A native of Ireland, she is an Attorney-at-Law and a member of the New York State Bar. She holds a Master’s in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. She is based near Geneva.
One of Maria’s first events at NWI was a delegation to Ukraine and Poland in June 2022, to visit refugee centres, humanitarian organizations, local activists and officials, to connect with people affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The solidarity mission was led by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, Jody Williams of the United States, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.
Maria also serves as a member of the Oversight Group of Ireland’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, appointed by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2019, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Human Rights at University College Dublin.
Prior to working at WILPF, where she served as deputy secretary general among other roles, Maria worked for former Irish president Mary Robinson at Realizing Rights in New York. She founded Grá (meaning love in Irish), a youth-led initiative to mobilize resources and connect young Irish people with communities in rural Kenya in 2006.
Maria is the author of numerous publications including a chapter titled “Women, Peace and Security and the Arms Trade Treaty” published in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security.