Hillary Rodham Clinton, who through more than three decades in public life has advocated on behalf of children, will be honored this fall by the Children's Defense Fund.

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REUTERS/Jim Young

The non-profit organization will recognize Clinton, a former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, at its 40th anniversary celebration on Sept. 30 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

Clinton, who as a young lawyer worked on the staff of the Children's Defense Fund and later served as a board member and chairwoman, will be honored for "her dedication and contributions to child advocacy," according to an announcement the group plans to make later Thursday.

"Although critical gains have been made for children over these past four decades, much remains to be done," Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, said in a statement. "As we celebrate the great milestones in CDF's history, we will honor the servant leaders across generations who have worked hard with us in the trenches to build a more just nation for all our young."

Clinton worked on children's issues as first lady of Arkansas, beginning in the late 1970s, as well as in the White House during the 1990s.

Now a private citizen, Clinton is pursuing a similar agenda through the charitable foundation her husband, President Bill Clinton, began when he left office. She announced earlier this month that at the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation she would focus on women's and children's issues, among other areas.