May 13: U of G to Honour Louise Arbour with Leadership Award
Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Supreme Court justice who gained renown for her role in the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, will receive the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award May 18 from the University of Guelph.
As the highest leadership award given by U of G, the award was created in 2006 to honour Lincoln Alexander, who served as Guelph’s chancellor for an unprecedented 15 years.
The award is presented annually by Guelph’s College of Management and Economics (CME) to exemplary and dedicated Canadian leaders whose careers have included groundbreaking, socially significant pursuits.
Past recipients include Rick Hillier, retired Canadian general and former chief of the defence staff of the Canadian forces; Frank McKenna, former New Brunswick premier and Canadian ambassador to the United States; and Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee.
“Louise Arbour’s steadfast and courageous advocacy for human rights makes her an ideal recipient of this year’s Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award,” said Prof. Julia Christensen Hughes, CME dean. “She has been selflessly committed to the betterment of others.”
Christensen Hughes said the nominating committee also cited Arbour’s tenacity and effectiveness in various roles, from serving as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to her current role as president and CEO of the International Crisis Group, an NGO committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.
Arbour will speak after a dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Creelman Hall. The event will coincide with the residential week of Guelph’s two-year MA (Leadership) program for leaders in the public, non-profit and private sectors.
“I am delighted that students will have the opportunity to meet Ms. Arbour and to learn from and be inspired
by her many accomplishments and experiences,” Christensen Hughes said.
Arbour was named chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in 1996. She earned an international reputation for courage and determination, and gained the respect of human rights groups around the world.
In 1999, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She was named UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2004.
She has also served on the Supreme Court of Ontario and on the Ontario Court of Appeal, led an inquiry into the Kingston women’s prison, and served as associate dean of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Arbour holds honorary doctorates from 30 universities, including U of G. A Companion of the Order of Canada, she received the Colombian Order of National Merit and shared the 2010 North-South Prize of the Council of Europe with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil.