President's Corner

Bios and headshots 

Click on the expandable arrows for the biography and headshots of our President and Head of College Désirée McGraw. 

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President and Head of College Désirée McGraw

View and download a selection of headshots here. 

About Désirée McGraw:

Désirée McGraw is the President and Head of College of Pearson College UWC. She was appointed
to the position in April 2015. 

With more than twenty years of experience as a consultant, researcher, reporter, senior advisor and spokesperson in the field of sustainable development, Désirée has been described by the national media as “one of Canada’s ten most influential people on environmental issues.” In 2007, Désirée was among a select group of Canadians to complete a training with former U.S. Vice-President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore on the science and solutions of climate change; she went on co-found Mr. Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” leadership program in Canada. Désirée lectured on Sustainable Development and Globalization at McGill University from 2002-10, prior to which she coordinated outreach for the University’s new School of Environment.

Désirée first became involved in international organizations at age 18 when she was appointed by the Governor General of Canada to serve as a youth advisor to the Canadian Delegation to the UN’s Third Special Session on Disarmament. Since that time, she has served on a number of other Canadian delegations to UN conferences, including on Environment and Development (Rio, 1992), the Biodiversity Convention (Nairobi, 2000) and the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol (Montreal, 2005). Following her appointment by UN Under-Secretary-General Maurice Strong to serve as one of two Youth Ambassadors to the 1992 Earth Summit, she spent four years working as an international reporter for the UN Earth Negotiations Bulletin. Her graduate work as Commonwealth Scholar at the London School of Economics focused on the North-South dynamics of global environmental negotiations.

Désirée currently serves as President of Pearson College UWC, prior to which she headed the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in Montreal. Previously (2003-2006), as Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and Director of Policy to Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, she coordinated all key ministerial files in the areas of sustainable development, stakeholder relations and multilateral organizations.