Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson Announces New Secretary General for the Global Centre for Pluralism

Meredith Preston McGhie to Assume Role

A view of the Global Centre for Pluralism from Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, on the North side of the Ottawa River. The Centre sits on Sussex Drive alongside or close to other iconic buildings and monuments in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Photo: © Simerg/Nurin and Malik Merchant.

By THE GLOBAL CENTRE FOR PLURALISM
(Press Release, August 1, 2019)

The Board of Directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism is pleased to confirm that Meredith Preston McGhie will take over as Secretary General, replacing John McNee on his retirement from the position. She will assume her new role on October 1st.

In announcing the selection, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Chair of the Search Committee, cited Ms. Preston McGhie’s frontline negotiating efforts towards building peace and good governance in diverse societies.

Meredith Preston McGhie. Photo: Ilja C. Hendel via Global Centre for Pluralism

“Meredith stood out for the depth of her lived experience in parts of the world where conflict and exclusions are widespread,” said Madame Clarkson. “Her understanding of the value of pluralism is grounded in this extensive practical experience. After searching the world for a leader to continue the Centre’s vital work, I am delighted we convinced this outstanding Canadian to come home.”

His Highness the Aga Khan warmly greets former Governor General, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, after she gave her closing remarks at the opening ceremony of the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa on May 16, 2017. The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, is on the Board of Directors of the Global Centre and Chair of the Search Committee. Photo: © Jean-Marc Carisse.

Ms. Preston McGhie studied military and international history at the University of British Columbia before pursuing graduate studies in global security in the United Kingdom. She has since devoted more than 20 years to addressing conflict and instability in Africa and Asia in some of the most troubled situations. From working with the Naga in Northeast India and indigenous communities on the Thai-Myanmar border, to supporting UN efforts in Kosovo, Northern Iraq and several African countries, her work has straddled frontline negotiation, policy and diplomacy.

Most recently, as Africa Regional Director with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, she oversaw the HD Centre’s complex mediation and dialogue efforts in Nigeria, the Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan, among other places. In the Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process in 2007-08, she advised a panel of eminent Africans led by the late Kofi Annan. She has contributed annually to the Oslo Forum, a gathering of the world’s leading experts and policymakers in conflict resolution, and teaches mediation practice internationally.

His Highness the Aga Khan, His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General for Canada, and John McNee, whose retirement as the Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism has just been announced, share some light moments outside the main entrance of the building opened on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Photo: © AKDN/The Ismaili.

Ms. Preston McGhie replaces John McNee, who has served as the Centre’s first Secretary General since 2011, and who presided over the restoration of 330 Sussex Drive, an Ottawa heritage landmark, as the Centre’s global headquarters.

“The Centre’s Directors look forward to working closely with Meredith to advance our agenda of building more peaceful and inclusive societies,” said Madame Clarkson. “At the same time, we are enormously grateful to her predecessor. John quite literally put the Centre on the map, and leaves a strong foundation for its future.”

Date posted: August 1, 2019.

[Before leaving this page, please take a moment to visit Simerg’s Table of Contents  for links to a vast and rich collection of articles published on this blog as well as its two sister blogs Barakah and Simergphotos.]

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