Development & Alumni Relations Office 


02 February 2018

The 2018 Eaton Lecture, hosted by the Queen's Centre of Sustainability and Environmental Governance and the Centre of Canadian Studies at the University, is to be delivered by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

Entitled Sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the annual lecture will take place on Friday 16 February at 9.45-11am, in The South Dining Hall, on the main University site.

In delivering this year’s Eaton Lecture, Ms Dowdeswell is expected to emphasize the imperative of sustainability and its three interrelated components: inclusive economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social cohesion. She is currently focused on drawing attention to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for encouraging people to think globally while acting locally.

The Eaton Lecture Series at Queen’s was established in 1994 and is supported by an endowment from the Eaton Foundation in Toronto. It serves to cement the many connections between the University and Canada, by bringing eminent Canadians to Queen’s. Past speakers have included the former Canadian politician Bill Blaikie, and Dr Fred Eaton, an honorary graduate of Queen’s, whose great-grandfather – a native of Ballymena – who, upon emigrating to Canada in the nineteenth century, founded the T. Eaton & Co. Limited (Toronto) chain of department stores in 1869.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell was invested as Ontario’s 29th Lieutenant Governor on September 23, 2014. Her eclectic public service career has spanned provincial, federal, and international borders, and has transcended disciplinary and sectoral lines.

She began her professional career as a teacher and university lecturer. After serving as the Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth for the Government of Saskatchewan, she held increasingly senior positions in the Canadian public service, most notably as head of the Atmospheric Environment Service. Throughout this period, she managed several public inquiries and royal commissions.

Her international negotiating experiences prefaced her election in 1992 as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ms Dowdeswell was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated to rural Saskatchewan with her parents in 1947. She earned a Bachelor of Science in home economics and teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan (1966) and a Master of Science in behavioural sciences from Utah State University (1972). An Officer of the Order of Canada, she holds 11 honorary degrees.

Upon returning to Canada in 1998, she established an international consulting practice and became the founding President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Immediately prior to her appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Ms Dowdeswell was the President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. She has also served on numerous boards of corporate and non-profit organizations.

To register to attend please click here.

General inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office at Queen’s; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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