Emily Greene Balch

Lived:January 8, 1867—January 9, 1961 (aged 94)

Emily Greene Balch was an American sociologist, political scientist and economist, and a leader in the women’s peace movement. She received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1946 jointly with John Raleigh Mott for her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Blach was born January 8, 1867, in Jamaica Plain, now part of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1889, a member of the first graduating class there. She completed an independent study in sociology from 1889-1890, used a fellowship from Bryn Mawr to study economics in Paris in 1890-1891, completed courses at Harvard and the University of Chicago, and studied economics in 1895-1896 in Berlin. She joined the faculty of Wellesley College in 1896 and become professor of political economy and political and social science in 1913. While at Wellesley, Blach served on state commissions on industrial education (1908–09) and immigration (1913–14) and on the Boston city planning board (1914–17), and was a leader of the Women's Trade Union League and active in the women’s suffrage movement.

A long-time pacifist, Balch became involved in the peace movement following the outbreak of World War I in 1914. After serving as a delegate to the International Congress of Women at The Hague in 1915, Blach co-founded what later became known as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom with Jane Addams. She also campaigned against the United States' entry into the war, which cost her her position at Wellesley College in 1918. She served as the first international secretary-treasurer for the WILPF and helped set up summer schools on peace education and create new branches in more than 50 countries. She worked with the League of Nations on drug control, aviation, refugees and disarmament.

Blach died January 9, 1961, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.