2021 Last Lecture Alumni Speaker: Susan McDade (BA ' 86)

Posted: Apr 05, 2021

We are so excited to have Susan McDade as our alumni speaker for the 2021 Last Lecture. Click here to watch the 2021 Last Lecture on Thursday, April 8, 2021. 



Susan McDade has worked over 30 years in international development, completing a 29-year career with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Management Services in 2019 with operational oversight of UNDPs activities in 140 developing countries. During her career, she also served as the Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean (2014-2017) and was appointed to lead the UN system as Resident Coordinator in Cuba and subsequently Uruguay (2006-2013) where she was also the Resident Representative of UNDP and UNFPA. She is fluent in Spanish.

Ms. McDade served as Assistant Resident Representative in China (1992-1996) focused on energy and the environment and supported the hosting of the 1995 International Womens’ Conference. As Program Officer in Guatemala (1991-1992) she focused on indigenous education and social services. Ms. McDade worked for more than a decade in the Bureau for Development Policy (1996-2005) on energy, climate change and sustainable development issues including promoting off-grid, renewable energy solutions around the world and working with the UN Secretary-General in incorporating energy in the Sustainable Development Goals global agenda.

Throughout her career, she championed issues related to women and development. Prior to joining the UN, she taught graduate-level economics and supported research on the role of technology transfer in international development. Today Ms. McDade focuses on leadership development, executive coaching and supporting women in career progression in international organizations. She is from New Brunswick originally and has returned to live there with her two high school-aged children after 40 years away. She remains deeply committed to sustainable development and social justice issues.

Other degrees:

  • Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Victoria, BC, International Baccalaureate. 1981-1983
  • Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, Master of Arts, Development Studies: Economic Policy and Planning. 1987-1988





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