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Plan Canada welcomes Marie Staunton as interim President and CEO

Succession process in place as organization bids farewell to Rosemary McCarney after nearly 10 years of leadership

TORONTO, CANADA, August 4, 2015 – Plan Canada is saying goodbye to Rosemary McCarney, who served as its President and CEO for nearly 10 years, and this week welcomes interim President and CEO Marie Staunton.

Ms. Staunton served as Plan UK’s CEO for 13 years, during which time she significantly grew its revenue to over 109 million (CAD), led a team of over 150 employees, and occupied numerous international governance roles within the Plan federation. She has held executive leadership positions with Amnesty International and UNICEF and is the first female Chair of Crown Agents, an international development company founded in 1833. She is a lawyer, advocate, and champion for a wide variety of underserved communities. As a human rights lawyer, she began her career working with community groups and women’s organizations and setting up shelters and hostels for homeless families, women, men and youth in England and Ireland. Today, she is the UK Chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum, Chair of Raleigh International, and Trustee of the Baring Foundation. She was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her humanitarian work.

Ms. McCarney leaves Canada for Geneva, Switzerland later this month to take up her new post as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the Office of the United Nations and the United Nations Conference on Disarmament. She leaves behind a tremendous legacy of growth and diversification at Plan Canada, marked by many notable accomplishments. Under Ms. McCarney’s leadership, the international development and child rights organization engaged the attention and support of more than 215,000 donors across Canada and several leading institutional funders and partners including the World Food Programme, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, UNICEF, and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). As a result, Plan Canada has experienced double digit year-over-year growth in revenue under Rosemary’s tenure. McCarney also spearheaded Plan Canada’s successful call for an International Day of the Girl as part of Plan’s dynamic and engaging Because I am a Girl initiative. In addition, her leadership was instrumental in securing Canadian funding for major international projects that have helped to save the lives of thousands women and children as part of global efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health across the world.

Plan Canada has a strong team of more than 200 accomplished, committed, and expert staff. This is, in fact, the team that Rosemary’s leadership helped to attract and build within the organization. That team is well-positioned to carry on its work to improve the lives of children.

“We’re grateful to Rosemary for her many contributions to Plan. She has always inspired us with her tremendous vision, innovation, and tenacity and she has left an indelible mark on this organization that will see us continue to make positive, lasting change in the lives of children,” said Karen Jackson, Chair of Plan Canada’s Board of Directors. “As we say goodbye and wish Rosemary much success in this next chapter of her career, we warmly welcome Marie Staunton and the wealth of knowledge, passion, and experience she will bring to the role of interim President and CEO.”

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit and for more information.

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Media contacts

Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416-920-1654 ext. 326 | C: 416-723-6340 |