Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau ( 11 August 1968) is the widow of Prince Friso, brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
Princess Mabel studied economics and political science at the University of Amsterdam, graduating summa cum laude in 1993. During her studies she also completed internships at the United Nations, Shell, ABN AMRO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to Dutch, she speaks fluent English, Spanish and French.
During her university years, she showed special interest in human rights situations around the world, and later specialised in Balkan diplomacy and international relations. In 1995 she was present at the peace conference in Dayton, Ohio.
Princess Mabel was co-founder of the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans in 1994, which was a non-governmental organisation that strove for peace, democracy and stability in the Balkans, and had Margaret Thatcher, Simon Wiesenthal and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing among its members.
In 1995 she was one of the co-founders of War Child Netherlands, she was on the Trustee Board until 1999. In 1997, she was appointed director of EU affairs of the Open Society Institute in Brussels, one of the foundations of Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros. From 2002 to 2008, Princess Mabel worked in the London branch of the Open Society Institute where she was the International Advocacy Director, to help coordinate all international OSI advocacy activities aimed at international policy change.
The World Economic Forum in Switzerland counted her as one of the hundred “Global Leaders for Tomorrow”. She is a member of the worldwide Forum of Young Global Leaders, a thinktank and lobby group that aims to tackle global issues.
She is one of the founding members of the European thinktank European Council on Foreign Relations. She is also a member of the Interpeace Governing Council.
From July 2008 till May 2012 she was the first Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, a group of eminent individuals convened by Nelson Mandela to use their wisdom, independent leadership and experience to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. She oversaw the day-to-day operations for the Elders.
In May 2012, Mabel van Oranje resigned as CEO of The Elders, following the February 2012 accident in which her husband, Prince Friso, was caught in an avalanche and remained hospitalised until his death on 12 August 2013. She continues to be involved with The Elders as a member of its Advisory Council, which she sits on in her capacity as Advisory Committee Chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.
In 2015 she signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation