Board of Directors


The Global Centre for Pluralism is governed by an international Board of Directors chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. The Secretary General has overall responsibility for the intellectual leadership, operational excellence and financial sustainability of the Centre. The Centre’s operations are supported by a small team headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.


Secretary General

johnmcnee bioshotJohn McNee joined the Global Centre for Pluralism as its first Secretary General on September 6, 2011. A career diplomat, he served as Canada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 2006-2011.

During his career, he also served as Canadian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, Syria and Lebanon and Canada’s representative to the Council of Europe. In addition, he was posted to Tel Aviv, London and Madrid.

John McNee joined the Department of External Affairs in 1978 and worked in various capacities in the Department including as Assistant Deputy Minister for Africa and the Middle East. He also served in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), (Glendon College, York University, 1973) and a Master of Arts in History (Cambridge University, 1975). He was Canada Scholar at Cambridge 1973- 1975. In 2017, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.) by the Governor General. Mr. McNee and his wife Susan have two children.

Board of Directors

Constituted in 2010 by the Centre’s founding partners, our Board of Directors brings together a group of eminent men and women representing diverse countries and experiences. Directors are appointed for two-year terms and serve without remuneration.  

Learn more about our Board members >

HisHighness thumb

His Highness the Aga Khan

Princess Zahra thumb

Princess Zahra Aga Khan

Kofi Annan thumb

Kofi Annan

 IainBenson thumb

Iain Benson

Adrienne Clarkson thumb

The Rt. Hon Adrienne Clarkson

Rudyard Griffiths thumb

Rudyard Griffiths

 Huguette Labelle thumb

Huguette Labelle

Marwan Muasher bio

Marwan Muasher 

AzimNanji thumb

Azim Nanji

Margaret Ogilvie thumb

Margaret Ogilvie 

Khalil Shariff thumb

Khalil Shariff 

Eduardo Stein thumb

Eduardo Stein 


■  John McNee  |  Secretary General

■  Beverly Boutilier | Director, Analysis and Planning

■  Jayne Barlow | Director, Programs

■  Daniel Cervan-Gil | Senior Program Officer

■  Katherine Lemay Program Assistant

 Poorvi Chitalkar | Senior Program Officer

■  Matthew Burkard | Program Officer

■  Nathan Bowers-Krishnan | Program Officer

■  Katie O'Brian | Program Officer

■  Mark Tschirgi | Program Officer

■  Calina Ellwand | Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

■  Alana Dunbar | Assistant, Communications and Public Affairs

■  Maria Desjardins | Office Manager / Executive Assistant

■  Jaouhara Nanai Administrative Assistant

■  Audrey Daly | Senior Finance Officer


The Centre gratefully acknowledges the provision of corporate services by Aga Khan Foundation Canada.




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