Désirée M. McGraw
Jeanne Sauvé Foundation
Sauvé Scholars Foundation
Appointed to the post of Executive Director of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and the Sauvé Scholars Foundation in February 2008, Désirée McGraw is responsible for the overall management of the Foundation and the Sauvé Scholars Program.
A public policy professional with a background in international affairs, Désirée has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant, researcher, reporter, senior political advisor and spokesperson in the field of sustainable development. She served as Director of Policy to Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, and has worked with various international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank.
Following training with former U.S. Vice-President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore regarding the science and solutions surrounding climate change, she serves as Vice-President of Mr. Gore’s Climate Project in Canada.
At 16, Désirée undertook a cross-Canada tour of secondary schools promoting global peace and security, which received international media attention and was the subject of an award-winning documentary film. Later, she co-hosted “Alive in the Nuclear Age”, a video series featuring Dr. David Suzuki, an experience that prompted her passionate commitment to environmental issues.
Following her appointment by then Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, as a youth advisor to the Canadian Delegation to the UN’s Third Special Session on Disarmament, Désirée has served on a number of Canadian delegations to UN conferences. She was one of two World Youth Ambassadors to the 1992 Earth Summit, subsequently spending four years working as an international reporter for the UN Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
Désirée has conducted political research, analysis and commentary for the CBC, Radio-Canada International, CTV and the BBC World Service, and was a foreign correspondent for the French TV Ontario public affairs show, Panorama.
The recipient of numerous national and international scholarships for academic excellence as well as awards for public service, Désirée pursued graduate studies as a Commonwealth Scholar at the London School of Economics. She currently lectures on Climate Change Diplomacy at McGill University as part of her ongoing seminar series on Governing Globalization. She is a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen’s University and an Associate of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
She has served on the Board of Directors and/or Selection Committees of many national and international organizations, including Canadian Lawyers Abroad, the Journal of International Sustainable Development Law, the Gordon Foundation Global Youth Fellowships, the Lester B. Pearson Peace Medal, the London Goodenough Association of Canada and the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. She has been an active member of a number of national and international associations, including the International Studies Association, the International Federation of University Women, the Academic Council of the United Nations System, the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, and the G8 Research Group based at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies.
She has been involved in politics and election campaigns in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, where she worked in public affairs at Canada’s High Commission to London.
Désirée lives in her native Montréal and is actively engaged in a number of community causes and organizations.