MONTREAL, Oct. 24, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chair of the Board of Directors of Centraide of Greater Montreal, James C. Cherry, announces the appointment of Lili-Anna Pereša as next President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. Ms. Pereša will assume her position on January 1, 2013. She will replace Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, who had announced to the volunteers on Centraide's Board that she would be resigning her position effective December 31, 2012.
"Centraide is delighted to welcome Lili-Anna Pereša to its team," says James C. Cherry, who chaired the selection committee comprised of Board volunteers. "She is an ideal candidate, with several years' experience directing non-profit organizations that operate at the local or international level."
Ms. Pereša is an engineer by training and a graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal. Since 2009, she had been serving as Executive Director of ONE DROP, conducting all operations and overseeing strategic development and international outreach. Prior to that she directed several community and humanitarian organizations, including Les Petits Frères des Pauvres, YWCA Montreal, Amnesty International - France and UNICEF Québec.
In addition to her management experience, Ms. Pereša has several years' experience working in the field, notably as a teacher in Malawi, a management consultant on humanitarian projects in Burkina Faso, and as a head of mission in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she coordinated the establishment of mobile gynecological and pediatric clinics for women and their children in refugee camps. Her involvement in humanitarian aid has earned her numerous distinctions.
"Lili-Anna Pereša's several years' experience working with the neediest populations will stand her in good stead at Centraide, which must deal with increasingly complex and diverse issues in the fight against poverty and exclusion," adds Mr. Cherry.
Ms. Pereša is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. In addition to her degree in electrical engineering, she holds a graduate degree in management from McGill University and a master's degree in political science, with specialization in international cooperation and humanitarian aid, from the Sorbonne in Paris.
"Centraide of Greater Montreal is a renowned organization that is recognized for the rigour and quality of its philanthropic and social impact activities," says its future President and Executive Director, Lili-Anna Pereša. "I am very excited by the prospect of joining Centraide's outstanding team and vast network. It is also a true honour to have the opportunity to succeed Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, a great Montrealer whom I admire enormously."
The Board of Directors wishes to express its appreciation and gratitude to Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire for her 21 years at the helm of Centraide. "She skillfully forged ties between people and assembled the resources of Greater Montreal to help our most vulnerable fellow citizens," points out Mr. Cherry. "Under her leadership, Centraide underwent major transformations that consolidated its role as a leader and rallying force in the philanthropic and social sectors at the local and national level. She is leaving us an important legacy and a solid foundation for our development in the future."
Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves Laval, the Island of Montreal and communities on the South Shore. Over half a million people in need receive help and comfort from the some 370 community agencies and projects that Centraide supports. Centraide of Greater Montreal has set itself the goal of raising $60 million thanks to the generosity and loyalty of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers. To learn more about Centraide: www.centraide-mtl.org.
There are 18 autonomous Centraide in Quebec, each managed by an independent board of directors that is representative of the community it serves.
Lili-Anna Pereša is an engineer by training and a graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal (1987).
Since 2009, she had been serving as Executive Director of ONE DROP, conducting all operations and overseeing strategic development and international outreach. Prior to that she directed several community and humanitarian organizations, including Les Petits Frères des Pauvres (1995-1999), YWCA Montreal (1999-2004), Amnesty International France (2005-2006) and UNICEF Québec (2007-2009).
After completing her studies, Ms. Pereša began working at Bell Canada, all the while maintaining her goal of contributing to the development of less privileged communities at the local and international level. The common thread of her professional engagement became clear early in her career: to protect human rights, especially the rights of women and children, and help improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations.
Ms. Pereša had her first experience as a volunteer aid worker at the age of 25 when she accepted an assignment from World University Service of Canada to teach in Malawi. This was followed by an assignment from Oxfam-Québec to act as management consultant to Burkina Secours in Burkina Faso. In 1994, Ms. Pereša joined CARE Austria and packed her bags again to head for Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where an armed conflict was underway. As head of mission, she coordinated the establishment of mobile gynecological and pediatric clinics for women and their children in refugee camps. The following year, she returned to Africa as a consultant with the Coopération française to work on the Women and Development Project in Burkina Faso.
Ms. Pereša's involvement in humanitarian aid has earned her numerous distinctions, including the Meritorious Service Award for Community Service from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (2000) and an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal (2009).
In addition to her degree in electrical engineering, Ms. Pereša holds a graduate degree in management from McGill University (1997) and a master's degree in political science—with specialization in international cooperation, humanitarian aid and development policies—from the Sorbonne in Paris (2007).
Lili-Anna Pereša is involved as a volunteer in several organizations, including as a member of the board of directors of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, the 2012 National Executive Committee of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference and the Programming Committee of the Montréal Science Centre.
SOURCE: CENTRAIDE OF GREATER MONTREAL
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