This event, hosted by President Graham Carr, focuses on the question of what the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mean for universities, for Canada, and for Canada’s Indigenous communities. The event marks the public launch of Concordia’s Voluntary University Review process, which will help to determine how best to engage with and advance the SDGs at the university.
With special guests: Danika Billie Littlechild, Éliane Ubalijoro, John McArthur, Margaret Biggs, and Sarah Mendelson.
Danika Billie Littlechild, who is Cree from Ermineskin Cree Nation, Neyaskweyahk, Maskwacis (Alberta) in Treaty No. 6 territory, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Prior to her appointment at Carleton, Danika practiced law in Canada for almost two decades. In her legal work, Danika has advised Canadian First Nations in the areas of environment, Indigenous Legal Orders, health and governance. Internationally, she served as an advisor and Indigenous Peoples Representative in various UN bodies and processes, including the process of developing the SDGs.
Éliane Ubalijoro is the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Global Hub Director in Canada for Future Earth. Her decades of experience span academia, science-policy, and the non-profit and international development sectors. She is a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, and she is a member of wide range of boards and advisory groups, including at the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet.
John McArthur is senior fellow and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. He is also a senior adviser to the United Nations Foundation and a board governor for the International Development Research Centre. He serves as a member of the UNICEF Advisory Group and of Policy Horizons Canada’s Deputy Minister Steering Committee. In 2018 he co-founded the “17 Rooms” initiative as a new approach to catalyzing action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Margaret Biggs is chairperson of the International Development Research Centre. She served as President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 2008-2013, where she oversaw Canada's international development and humanitarian assistance efforts worldwide. Previously, Margaret served as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet and Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning, in the Privy Council Office. In 2015 she co-led the report “Towards 2030: Building Canada’s Engagement on Global Sustainable Development” with John McArthur.
Sarah Mendelson is Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in Washington, DC. She served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until January 2017, leading efforts on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance.