Brodhead, Tim

Degree conferred: Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)

Orator: Mason, Gordon


CONVOCATION, OCTOBER, 2011
TIMOTHY BRODHEAD
to be Doctor of Letters

Tim Brodhead has had a long and distinguished career as a leading member of the community of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Canada.

As a newly minted political science and philosophy graduate of McGill University, Tim went to teach at the University of Ife in Nigeria. In 1967 he became director of the Nigeria and West Africa programs of CUSO, the Canadian University Service Overseas, and soon after that he helped create ACORD, an organization working for social justice across Africa, which is still a vibrant presence 40 years later.

Returning to Canada in 1977, Tim co-founded Inter Pares, meaning "Among equals", which supports communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to create sustainable livelihoods through promotion of democratic social and economic policies. Furthermore it seeks to combine social action in Canada with the work abroad. Over the next 15 years he was active on a number of fronts. He directed research for the North-South Institute, Canada's first independent research institute for international development, was an adviser to CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency, and several U.N. agencies. He co-authored a book, whose title posed the question Bridges of Hope? For five years, he was executive director of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation representing over 120 NGOs.

All this experience made him the prime candidate to become president and CEO of the McConnell Foundation in 1995. This foundation was created in 1937 by J.W. McConnell of Montreal, an associate of Lord Beaverbrook, UNB's first modern day chancellor. Mr. McConnell was a generous donor to UNB's residence system and although he wished to remain anonymous Lord Beaverbrook convinced him to accept the naming of the dining hall when it opened in 1961, coincidentally exactly 50 years ago. The foundation he created is one of the largest in the country, with a mandate to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable society. Under Tim Brodhead's leadership it reached new levels of professionalism and innovation. His presidency has been marked by a systematic, thoughtful approach to priorities with a rigorous evaluation process to assess particular social outcomes. One area chosen was to transform university education and UNB successfully applied for funding to create Renaissance College, Canada's first leadership studies bachelor program, which welcomed its first class in 2000. In making the award Tim described the proposal as unique and ambitious and, as many of you know, his faith has been justified by the highly favourable evaluations of its programs.

Tim is one of the most highly respected foundation executives in North America. His colleagues speak of his high standards, his passion for social justice and his work in transforming how we take care of each other and our environment. In 2001 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

This year Tim retired from his role with the foundation but continues to advise and volunteer extensively with like-minded organizations. He is currently president of the ETC group, a non-profit that addresses the socioeconomic and ecological implications of new technologies, especially for the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

For his contributions to society, in Canada and abroad, we are most pleased to award him this honorary degree today

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