After more than seven years of outstanding leadership, Désirée McGraw is stepping down as President and Executive Director of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation as of June 6 in order to pursue new opportunities on both the personal and professional fronts.

Ion Valaskakis , who was acting Executive Director of the Sauvé Scholars Foundation from May 2010 to June 2011 and then went on to serve as a member of its Board of Directors, has been named President of the Foundation.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff, Fellows, the extended Sauvé family and community, we salute Désirée’s accomplishments, and thank her for her deep devotion to every aspect of her work with the Foundation.

The Sauve Scholars - Closing Ceremonies 2012Since her arrival in February 2008, through her energy, enthusiasm and tireless commitment to the vision of the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé and the young leaders striving to follow Madame Sauvé’s example, Désirée infused the Foundation with new passion. She introduced enhanced programming, academic and professional mentoring of the Fellows, strengthened the ties with our academic partners and extended the reach of the Foundation to a broad and diverse community. She spearheaded the 2013-2014 strategic planning review and since its adoption, has successfully led the implementation of its recommendations, most notably the creation of three key program areas: the Jeanne Sauvé Public Forum, Alumni Engagement and the Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program.

Fittingly, Désirée’s final engagement as President of the Foundation will be her participation in the 2015 Governor General’s Leadership Conference. The theme of the conference, which runs from May 22nd to June 5th, is Exploring Leadership and Innovation, a theme that has characterized Désirée’s entire career.

Désirée’s achievements have been widely recognized, most recently by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) which named her one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners  in the category of Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters, and one of eight Quebec Women who will be profiled in Première en Affaires and honored at the Montreal Gala on April 14. We are indeed proud that the award honors her long-standing work – most recently with the Foundation – in engaging and empowering the next generation of Canadian and international leaders in addressing key global issues.

We extend our warmest wishes to Désirée for continuing success and personal satisfaction in her new endeavours.

Jean-François Sauvé
Chairman of the Board

Diane Sauvé

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