Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Born to an Arab-American family distinguished for its public service, she received a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University prior to working on international urban planning and design projects in Australia, Iran, the United States and the Arab world. She married His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan in 1978.
Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations, which she founded and chairs, have advanced development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange. The Foundations provide training and capacity-building expertise in these areas in the broader Arab and Asian regions. Read More
Queen Noor is also chair of King Hussein Foundation International, a US non-profit 501(c)(3) which, since 2001, has awarded the King Hussein Leadership Prize to individuals, groups, or institutions that demonstrate inspiring leadership in their efforts to promote sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, social equity and peace.
Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. She is a Patron of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Founding and Emeritus President of BirdLife International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, a member of the Ocean Elders and has received a variety of awards and other honors for her activism.
A long-time advocate for a just Arab-Israeli peace and for Palestinian refugees, Queen Noor is a Director of Refugees International and an outspoken voice for the protection of civilians in conflict and displaced persons around the world. Her focus includes advocacy for Iraqis displaced in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and other countries after the 2003 Iraq conflict and for the millions of Syrians displaced since the onset of the Syrian civil war in2011. She has also been an expert advisor to the United Nations focusing on implementation of the MDGs in Central Asia and on behalf of Colombia’s displaced.
She is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), created at the 1996 G8 summit to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution after the Balkans war and now is the leading provider of DNA-assisted identifications to countries worldwide dealing with natural catastrophes, human rights abuses and conflict including in Iraq, Libya and Lebanon.
She is also advisor to Trust Women -the Thomson Reuters Foundation annual conference aiming to put the rule of law behind women’s rights.
Queen Noor has been an advisor to, and global advocate for, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines since 1998, advocating with governments in Central and Southeast Asia, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to join the Treaty and supporting NGOs, and land mine survivors struggling to recover and reclaim their lives. She is also a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement working for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons.
She is a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement working for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. She represented Global Zero at the historic 2009 UN Security Council meeting and was an advisor to the 2010 documentary film, Countdown to Zero about the escalating global nuclear arms threat.
Queen Noor is also involved with a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery such as the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and Seeds of Peace. She is also President of the United World Colleges (UWC), a network of 15 equal-opportunity international IB colleges around the world which foster cross-cultural understanding and global peace; and a Trustee of the Aspen Institute.
In recognition of her efforts to advance development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law and humane letters.
She has published two books, Hussein of Jordan (KHF Publishing, 2000) and Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life(Miramax Books, 2003), a New York Times #1 best seller published in 17 languages.