Carolyn McAskie

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Carolyn McAskie
Carolyn McAskie (cropped).jpg
Born (1946-12-15) 15 December 1946 (age 72)
Years active1975-

Carolyn McAskie OC (born 15 December 1946) is a Canadian diplomat and former assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping at the United Nations. She was the head of the United Nations mission to Burundi (ONUB) in 2004, making her the first Canadian to lead a United Nations peacekeeping mission following the UN's switch to complex missions.


McAskie was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She entered the Canadian Civil Service in 1968.[1]

From 1975–1980, McAskie served as Assistant Director of Finance and Personnel at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.[1]

Her first major role with the government of Canada was as Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 1983.[2] In 1985, she participated in the World Conference on Women. In 1993, McAskie began working at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).[3] She served as Vice-President for African and the Middle Eastern programs, as well as Vice-President for CIDA's multilateral programs.[4]

As of 2018, McAskie is a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.[5] She was also a director for CANADEM,[4] and a director of Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.[6]

United Nations[edit]

McAskie has been a part of multiple delegations to the United Nations. She was appointed deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in 1999.[4] She replaced Sérgio Vieira de Mello and became the interim Emergency Relief Coordinator from 1999–2004 due to De Mello's mission in Timor-Leste.[7] She has assisted in several relief efforts in Africa over her term.[8] As coordinator, she visited Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya on 10 July 2000, to examine the effects of the drought and to organize relief efforts.[9][10] McAskie visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2003 to assess renewed fighting in Ituri.[11]

From 2004 to April 2006, McAskie was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations mission (ONUB) to Burundi, and led ceasefire talks in the Burundian Civil War.[12][13] She was the first Canadian to lead a UN peacekeeping mission following the United Nations' switch to complex missions.[14]

On 16 May 2006, McAskie was named assistant secretary-general for peacebuilding support.[15]


In April 2005, McAskie received an honourary degree from the University of British Columbia.[16]

On 3 May 2007, McAskie was awarded with the Order of Canada for her efforts in peacekeeping and international diplomacy.[17]


  1. ^ a b Onslow, Sue. "Interview with Carolyn McAskie: Commonwealth Oral History Project". University of London. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  2. ^ McAskie, Carolyn. "The Lady of The Banners". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ Serageldin, Ismail; Martin-Brown, Joan, eds. (1998). Partnerships for Global Ecosystem Management: Science, Economics, and Law. Washington D.C.: The World Bank. p. 209. ISBN 0-8213-4265-7. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Carolyn McAskie". Fondation Trudeau. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  5. ^ Ruth, Nancy. "Women, Peace and Security: Canada Moves Forward to Increase Women's Engagement" (PDF). Senate of Canada (in English and French). Ottawa: Government of Canada. p. 80. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  6. ^ " Appointment Notice – The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre: Carolyn McAskie, Director". The Globe and Mail. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Carolyn McAskie to Head OCHA as Vieira de Mello's Heads for East Timor". United Nations. New York. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Eritrea: Statement by Carolyn McAskie, Emergency Relief Coordinator A.I." ReliefWeb. 16 June 2000. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  9. ^ Winfield, Nicole (30 March 2000). "UN warns of drought in Horn of Africa similar to 1980s crisis". The Independent. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Visit of the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa Region". ReliefWeb. 7 July 2000. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  11. ^ "DRC: Interview with UN humanitarian official Carolyn McAskie". ReliefWeb. Kinshasa. 28 May 2003. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  12. ^ Crossette, Barbara (7 June 2004). "McAskie One of UN's Few Women Special Representatives". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  13. ^ "UN mission to speed up ceasefire talks with FNL". IRIN. Bujumbura. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  14. ^ Burke, Ashley (10 November 2016). "Down, but not out: Ottawa's female leaders say Clinton defeat isn't the end". CBC News. Ottawa. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  16. ^ Austin, Brenda (7 April 2005). "Distinguished Careers Recognized with Honorary Degrees – UBC Reports". University of British Columbia. Vancouver. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Carolyn McAskie, O.C." Governor General of Canada. Government of Canada. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2018.