Georgette Mulheir is a leading global expert on transforming systems of care and protection for children. For three decades, she has worked in 33 countries, advising governments, major donors and the international community on transforming care. She has helped build a global movement to recognise the severe harm to millions of children in orphanages around the world and to compel governments and international decision-makers to end the institutionalisation of children. She pioneered a model of transforming systems of care used by many governments around the world. She has trained over 50,000 professionals and politicians from more than 70 countries.
At the height of the Bashir regime, she worked for UNICEF in Sudan to develop a care system for babies left on the streets of Khartoum by single mothers afraid of being punished under Sharia Law. This work resulted in a reinterpretation of the law that decriminalised being a single mother in Sudan and saved the lives of more than 10,000 babies.
For eight years she was Chief Executive of the Lumos foundation, during which time she established programmes across Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Haiti, Colombia and Guatemala. In 2018, Georgette led an emergency response programme to reunite hundreds of children separated from families on the US/Mexico border. Georgette also led the introduction of emergency foster family care in Tigray, Ethiopia, to keep unaccompanied child refugees out of detention.
Georgette’s work received the overall Charity of the Year award at the UK Charity Awards and the Zero Project award. She was given a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award and was named one of the world’s 30 most influential social workers. Her TED talk has been viewed nearly 900,000 times. She is the author of four books on children’s and women’s rights.