Honorary Patrons


 Lyse Doucet


  Ann McCain Evans


 Lawrence Hill


 Audrey McLaughlin



Donald H. Oliver

  Peter Paris   J. Robert  S. Prichard   Betty Plewes

Lyse Doucet (Côte d’Ivoire 1982)

Lyse Doucet is a Senior Presenter and Correspondent for BBC World television and BBC World Service radio. She is often deployed to anchor special news coverage from the field, including major natural disasters. She played a key role in the BBC's coverage of the war in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001, and has reported on events in both regions since then. Before joining the BBC's team of presenters in 1999, she spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent, with postings in Abidjan, Kabul, Islamabad, Amman and Jerusalem. Lyse Doucet is Canadian, born in Bathurst New Brunswick. She has a BA Hons from Queen’s University at Kingston, an MA from the University of Toronto, an Honorary Doctorate in civil law from King’s College Halifax and an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from the University of New Brunswick. Some of her most recent awards include the 2007 award for news and current affairs by Women in Film and Television, and 2007 television personality of the year from the Association of International Broadcasting. She is a Council member at Chatham House and the International Council on Human Rights Policy. In 2012, Lyse Doucet received a honorary degree from the University of York for her impressive journalistic work and her contribution to society. She also works with Friends of Aschiana UK to support working street children in Afghanistan. Her first overseas experience was with Crossroads International, when she volunteered in Côte d’Ivoire in 1982.

Ann McCain Evans (Ethiopia 1976)

A native of Florenceville, New Brunswick and a 1974 graduate of Florenceville High School, Ms. Evans studied at the Canadian Junior College in Lausanne, Switzerland, graduating with a Grade 13 diploma in 1975 and also attended L'Université de Grenoble, France attaining a certificate in Langues, Lettres et Civilisation in 1978. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in politics and history from Trent University in 1979. In 1976 Ms Evans volunteered with Crossroads on placement in Ethiopia.

After graduation she took a management trainee course at the Bank of Nova Scotia. From 1981 to 1984 she was a Special Assistant to the Hon. Gerald Regan in Ottawa, and later operated her own retail gift basket company for several years. For a number of years, Ms. Evans served on the Environment and Food Safety Committee of McCain Foods (Canada) Limited, which led to seats on the Environment Council of the Grocery Products manufacturers of Canada and the Advisory Committee to the Canada-New Brunswick Accord on Environmental Sustainability in the Agri-Food Sector.

She has served as an active member of the Montreal Board of Trade, the SPCA in Montreal, and the Steering Committee of the Westmount Environment Action Committee. She was also a director of the St. John Ambulance Foundation, Quebec Council. She also served on the Board of Governors of Acadia University, the Board of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Charitable Donations Committee of The McCain Foundation, and the Board of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

Currently Ms. Evans serves as a Director of McCain Foods Group Inc. and the Marion McCain Foundation, sponsor of the Marion McCain Atlantic Art Exhibition. She also serves as Chairperson of the Harrison McCain Foundation, as a Board member of Ovarian Cancer Canada and a Board member of the Canadian Barcode of Life Network.

Lawrence Hill (Niger 1979, Cameroon 1981, Mali 1989, Swaziland 2014)

Lawrence Hill is the son of a black father and a white mother who came to Canada hoping to escape the enduring racism of their native United States. Growing up in the predominantly white suburb of Don Mills, Ontario in the sixties, Hill was greatly influenced by his parents’ work in the human rights movement. Much of Hill’s writing touches on issues of identity and belonging.

Hill is the author of ten books, including The Illegal and The Book of Negroes, winner of various awards including The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. Hill delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which attracted millions of viewers in the United States and Canada. He is currently writing a new novel and a children’s book, and co-writing a television miniseries adaptation of The Illegal for Conquering Lion Pictures.

He holds honorary doctorates from five Canadian universities and in 2015 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, received the Governor General’s History Award and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2016, his novel The Illegal won CBC Canada Reads after a spirited defense by Olympian and philanthropist Clara Hughes. Also in 2016, Hill (along with co-writer Clement Virgo) won the best writing award from the Canadian Screen Awards for the TV miniseries adaptation of The Book of Negroes, which won CSA awards in a total of eleven categories including best TV movie/miniseries, director, actress, actor and supporting actress.

Formerly a reporter with The Globe and Mail and parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press, Hill speaks French and Spanish. He has lived and worked across Canada, in Baltimore, and in Spain and France. As a volunteer with Crossroads International, he has volunteered in Niger, Cameroon and Mali and most recently Swaziland. He has a B.A. in economics from Laval University in Quebec City and an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Hill volunteers with Crossroads International, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and Project Bookmark Canada, and lives with his family in Hamilton, ON. In 2016, Hill served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and became a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph.

The Honourable Audrey McLaughlin (Barbados 1986)

Audrey McLaughlin was born in Dutton, Ontario in 1936. She had a strong background as a community and social worker, serving as Executive Director of the Metro Toronto branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and teaching for some years in Ghana. She moved to the Yukon in 1979 and ran a consulting firm in Whitehorse. She volunteered in Barbados with Crossroads International in 1986.

McLaughlin was first elected to the House of Commons for the Yukon as a member of the New Democratic Party in a by-election in 1987 and re-elected in the general elections of 1988 and 1993. Chosen as Leader of the Party on December 2, 1989, Audrey McLaughlin became the first woman to lead a major federal party in Canada. She led the party for the next six years. Audrey McLaughlin stepped down as leader in October 1995 and announced she would not seek re-election. She later served as President of the Socialist International Women and special representative for the Government of the Yukon on Circumpolar Affairs.

The Honourable Donald H. Oliver, Q.C. (Ethiopia 1962)

As a barrister, teacher, entrepreneur, advocate and statesman, Senator Donald H. Oliver has served the peoples of Nova Scotia and Canada with honour, distinction and achievement for more than 40 years.

Senator Oliver went overseas with Crossroads in 1962, completing a placement in Ethiopia. He went on to graduate from Dalhousie University. After being called to the Bar in Nova Scotia, Senator Oliver built a highly successful practice as a civil litigator and taught law at several universities. Later, as a highly respected member of the Conservative Caucus and chair of Senate Standing Committees, he has advanced public policy in areas ranging from finance, agriculture, forestry, communications and transportation to banking, trade, commerce, human rights and employment equity.

In addition, Senator Oliver established and now leads two companies, is considered an expert on corporate governance and is a director of, or consultant to, several Canadian corporations. He also continues to volunteer his time and expertise to community and cultural organizations throughout Canada and has earned three honorary doctorates and other prestigious awards in recognition of his service. On September 7, 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney summoned him to the Senate of Canada.

Throughout his career, Senator Oliver has promoted equal opportunities for Black Canadians and other visible minorities through his fervent and influential advocacy. Most recently, he raised $500,000 to lead the first-ever national study conducted in Canada that definitively proves the business case for diversity. He has since spoken to dozens of audiences throughout Canada, South America, the United Kingdom and Europe about the urgency of fostering diverse and inclusive organizational cultures.

Peter Paris (Nigeria 1958)

Dr. Peter Paris is Professor Emeritus with Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his B.A. and B.D. degrees from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His courses cover various subjects in African American social ethics, Aristotle’s ethics and politics, and the theology and ethics of Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr. An ordained Baptist minister, he is an active member of the First Baptist Church in Princeton. He is past president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Ethics. Paris is the senior editor of the New York University series “Religion, Race, and Ethnicity,” general editor of The History of the Riverside Church in New York City, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He is a member of the board of trustees of New York Theological Seminary and the Princeton Young Achievers, an after-school program for children of low-income families. Mr. Paris was the first Canadian to go overseas with Operation Crossroads Africa, volunteering in Nigeria in 1958.

J. Robert S. Prichard (Zambia 1969)

J. Robert S. Prichard is chairman of Torys, a highly respected international business law firm. He is also President Emeritus of the University of Toronto where he previously served as dean of law and as a professor specializing in law and economics. Mr. Prichard is a director of the Bank of Montreal, Onex Corporation and George Weston Ltd. He also serves as Chairman of the Visiting Committee of Harvard Law School, Vice-Chair of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council and a director of the Toronto Community Foundation. He studied honours economics at Swarthmore College, received his MBA from the University of Chicago and earned law degrees at the University of Toronto and Yale University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Mr. Prichard volunteered with Crossroads International in Zambia in 1969.

Betty Plewes (Ethiopia 1964, Liberia 1968)

Betty Plewes has spent most of her career working in international cooperation. Following several volunteer placements in a number of African countries, she filled various senior management roles at CUSO. For nearly a decade, she was President and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. She was a founding member of Partnership Africa Canada and the Voluntary Sector Roundtable, a group of organizations that came together in 1995 to strengthen the voice of Canada's voluntary sector.

Betty Plewes has been engaged with Crossroads International for many years; first as a volunteer in 1964 (Ethiopia) and 1968 (Liberia). She was appointed Executive Secretary in 1968. In 2004 she joined the Board or Directors serving three terms ending in 2010. She currently works as consultant on issues related to the nonprofit sector in Canada and internationally. She is a board member of ACORD, an African-led social justice organization and a member of the McLeod Group.


Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: