The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation is very pleased and proud that President and Executive Director Désirée McGraw has been named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). She received her award at the 2014 Top 100 Awards Gala in Toronto on Thursday, 27 November

Bio: One of Canada’s 10 most influential people on the environment, Désirée McGraw founded Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in Canada. She brings 20 years’ experience in the field of sustainable development to the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and its mission to empower the next generation of public leaders to meet key challenges in Canada and the world.Inspiring figure: “Jeanne Sauvé is one of Canada’s most talented, successful and accomplished women, a woman of firsts: first woman Governor General of Canada, first woman Cabinet minister elected from Québec, first woman Speaker of the House of Commons. A woman well ahead of her time, she understood the importance of investing in the next generation to promote not only national unity in Canada and but cooperation overseas.”


The Top 100 Awards recognize female leaders Canada’s strong, fearless female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors who have become agents of change in reshaping Canadian organizations at the highest levels.

Désirée McGraw joins an elite group of Top 100 Award Winners that includes some of Canada’s most iconic women trailblazers, such as Dr. Roberta Bondar, astronaut; Arlene Dickinson, chief executive officer, Venture Communications; Christine Magee, president, Sleep Country Canada; Kathleen Taylor, chair of the board, Royal Bank of Canada; and the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada.

Désirée has been named in the category of Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters for her work as president and executive director of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in furthering its mission to empower the next generation of public leaders to meet key challenges in Canada and the world.

Jean-François Sauvé, Chairman of the Foundation created by his late mother, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, the first woman to serve as Canada’s Governor General, warmly congratulated Désirée on her selection by WXN. He added, “my mother would be very proud that her work with emerging young leaders is being furthered by a woman who is so passionately devoted to carrying out her vision of investing in the leaders of tomorrow.”

Désirée and Sauvé Fellows at WXN“I am honored and humbled by this award”, said Désirée, adding that she is particularly happy that she will be accompanied at Friday evening’s Gala dinner by three Jeanne Sauvé Fellows, alumnae of the Sauvé Scholars Program. They include Sadia Rafiquddin, who at the age of 22, was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women; Charlotte Sobolewski, also a member of the WXN; and Lilit Simonyan Ghougassian.

Pictured at right:
Alexandra Conliffe (Engineers Without Borders), Charlotte Sobolewski (Sauvé Fellow), Désirée McGraw, Lilit Simonyan (Sauvé Fellow) , Sadia Rafiquddin (Sauvé Fellow) and Mariane St-Maurice (DREAM Unlimited)

About WXN
Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a Founding Member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders.
Since 2003, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) has celebrated the accomplishments of 728 remarkable women through the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. We are thrilled to extend that number to 800 as we welcome another year of Winners into our Top 100 Community at this year’s Awards Gala.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Timeless’, an adjective we found most fitting when describing bold leadership. This year’s Awards celebrates the legacy that has been left, but also the legacy that continues to redefine what is possible by Canada’s strong, fearless, tenacious female leaders who stop at nothing to push boundaries within their careers, amongst peers and for their communities. Along with the Winners recognized in years past, it is clear the 2014 Top 100 Award Winners are icons for the generations to come.