Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross cultural understanding, 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, conservation, 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 transformed development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication and 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. www.nooralhusseinfoundation.org; www.kinghusseinfoundation.org
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. 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.
Queen Noor has been an advisor to, and global advocate for, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and 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 has focused extensively on the Balkans since her first humanitarian mission in 1996 after the tragic fall of Srebrenica. She became a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons in June 2001.