The Suits star has worked as United Nations ambassador, visited Rwanda with World Vision Canada, visited India on a trip to support women and girls living in slum communities and most recently wrote a powerful essay on combating the stigma surrounding menstruation for TIME.
This month, in Vanity Fair U.K., she’s being honored for her philanthropic work in a feature that highlights several other big names who straddle the line between the Hollywood world and the humanitarian one, such as Cher and Emma Watson.
In her own photograph, Markle poses with Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, poet Fatima Bhutto, and women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul in front of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.
Last October, she participated in the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Canada, an event she’s been attending since 2014, when she went to the Dublin summit.
This year’s summit featured 1,300 young leaders from 196 countries. Cher, Watson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended the event.
“When I was asked to be a Counsellor at One Young World, my response was a resounding ‘yes,’ ” she wrote in 2014. “One Young World invites young adults from all over the world who are actively working to transform the socio-political landscape by being the greater good. They are delegates who are speaking out against human rights violations, environmental crises, gender equality issues, discrimination and injustice. They are the change.”
During the summit, Meghan spoke on a panel with Beth Comstock, the Vice Chair at General Electric that had an introduction from Sheryl Sandberg.
“Meghan more than held her own,” Kate Robertson, co-founder of One Young World, tells PEOPLE. “Her contributions were articulate and well-informed.”
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Robertson also says that Markle is truly dedicated to activism and helping others.
“Meghan’s involvement with One Young World has demonstrated that she is very serious about the humanitarian issues she gets involved with and that she is keen to be engaged in a meaningful way, as opposed to being a celebrity spokesperson,” she said. “She is particularly interested in human rights issues and is very well informed about current affairs and world issues.”
“Meghan came across as humble and genuinely interested in the subject matter, describing One Young World as ‘the best think tank imaginable’ for people engaged in social issues.”
It wasn’t all seriousness: She and Markle shared a laugh after Robertson that she jokingly called Markle “Rachel” — her character from Suits — at the summit, which Markle says happens “all the time.”
In October, Markle posted a more candid post-shoot snap on her Instagram with Bhutto.
Markle’s big heart is nothing new. High school classmate Charisse Tran, who attended Immaculate Heart middle and high school in Los Angeles with Markle, told PEOPLE that the humanitarian was someone you could could on, even back then.
She said: “She was like the den mom, always looking out for people.”