Emily O’Reilly was first elected as the European Ombudsman in July 2013. Following the European Parliament elections, she was re-elected for a five year mandate in December 2014. As the European Ombudsman she investigates maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union. She was awarded Schwarzkopf Europe Award in 2017 in recognition of her work.
From 2003 until 2013, Ms O’Reilly was the first female Ombudsman and Information Commissioner in Ireland and was additionally appointed Commissioner for Environmental Information in 2007.
As national Ombudsman Ms O’Reilly was conferred in 2008 with an Honorary Doctorate in Law by the National University in Ireland for her work in promoting human rights throughout her career. In 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University College Dublin for her decade long commitment as Irish Ombudsman.
As a former journalist, author and political editor, Ms O’Reilly’s career has attracted significant domestic and international recognition, including a Harvard University Fellowship in 1988 and multiple national awards. She has written three critically acclaimed books on Irish politics and media and is a current member of the International Advisory Board of Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism.
In the course of her journalistic career, she won two awards: Woman Journalist of the Year in 1986 and Journalist of the Year in 1994.