Betty Williams was a co-recipient with Mairead Corrigan of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work as a cofounder of Community of Peace People, an organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful resolution to The Troubles in Northern Ireland. On the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize, she said, “The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded for what one has done, but hopefully what one will do.” She is also the Chair of Institute for Asian Democracy in Washington D.C. and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Nova Southeastern University. In 2006, Williams was one of the founders of the Nobel Women’s Initiative along with sister Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Six women representing North America and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa decided to bring together their experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. It is the goal of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world.
As a result of many years of work, The Global Children’s Studies Center was founded by Mrs. Williams in 1992. This evolved into founding World Centers of Compassion for Children International in 1997, in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.