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Honorary degree citation - Robert Calderisi

By: Robert Tittler, June 2017

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Mr. Robert Calderisi, an internationally recognized authority on the politics of foreign aid and African Economic Development.

A Loyola College alumnus and former Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Calderisi’s career can be viewed as a series of contributions to public service and humanitarian causes.

His career in foreign aid and economic development began in 1975, when he became Senior Planning Officer for the Canadian International Development Agency.

That step led him along the long and adventurous road which would see him reach several senior positions with the World Bank, in Africa and elsewhere.

With his advanced training in economic systems and international relations, Mr. Calderisi could well have secured posts in academia or the private sector.

Instead, he chose to work in the public domain, and to devote himself to the development and administration of foreign aid to some of the poorest nations on earth.

This is only fitting for one who so well personifies Loyola's Jesuit commitment to public service and humanitarian concerns.

Following his retirement in 2002, Mr. Calderisi has written three books on the problems of foreign aid and economic development in Africa.

In particular, his 2006 book, The Trouble With Africa, Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working, has become a central text in the international debates on the politics of foreign aid.

He is frequently invited to consult with foreign governments and to address international conferences on that subject.

Throughout his many years abroad, Mr. Calderisi remains a Montrealer at heart, and an active alumnus and benefactor to the University.

In 2015, Mr. Calderisi endowed the Ronald Calderisi Scholarship in Biochemistry in honour of his late brother-an award which emphasizes the training of First Nations' Peoples in that field.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Mr. Robert Calderisi, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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