The Elders have reluctantly accepted the resignation of Mabel van Oranje as Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, with immediate effect.
Mabel van Oranje will continue to assist The Elders as Senior Adviser on a part-time basis, providing strategic input on major initiatives, including Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, as well as management advice, until a new CEO is appointed.
The Elders have appointed Katy Cronin as Chief Operating Officer to lead their London-based team and ensure the continuity of their work.
Mabel van Oranje tendered her resignation in consideration of her personal situation, which does not allow her to devote herself to the responsibilities of CEO. In February, Mabel van Oranje's husband, Prince Friso, was caught in an avalanche and remains hospitalised.
Since her appointment in July 2008, Mabel van Oranje has worked closely with the Elders to realise Nelson Mandela's vision for the group as independent leaders using their collective influence to support peace and human rights worldwide.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, said:
“Mabel has been an outstanding and tireless CEO, leading the organisation from its inception to where it stands today. No one could have done what she has accomplished with more integrity, commitment and effectiveness.
"Mabel has earned the respect and affection of the Elders and of everyone she has met and worked with around the world. She will be deeply missed.
“We share her sorrow and heartache at this terrible time. We respect her decision to put her family first – she and Friso, and their daughters, will always be in our hearts and prayers.”