Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mary Coyle, executive director of StFX’s McKenna Centre, appointed to Senate of Canada

December 4th, 2017
Mary Coyle

Congratulations to Mary Coyle, the executive director of StFX’s Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership and former director of the Coady International Institute and StFX Vice-President, who has been appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ms. Coyle was one of two appointments announced on Dec. 4, 2017. Also named to the Senate is Mary Jane McCallum of Manitoba.

“A long-time champion for women’s leadership, gender equality, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Mary Coyle has forged a distinguished career in the post-secondary education and non-profit sectors, with a focus on international and local development,” said the announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ms. Coyle joined StFX in 1997, serving as Vice President and Director of the Coady International Institute, a centre of excellence in community-based development and leadership education. During her tenure, the Coady grew significantly, enhancing its global education and innovation agenda and expanding programming for women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples.

Since 2014, she has worked as the executive director of the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership, a centre devoted to developing student leadership. She also continues to work as an advisor and facilitator for various organizations, including the Haitian Centre for Leadership and Excellence and the Friends United Indigenous Arts and Culture Initiative.

Ms. Coyle played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, and the Indian School of Microfinance for Women, the announcement says.

She holds a diploma in French Language from the Université de Besançon in France and a Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Literature with a major in French and a minor in Spanish from the University of Guelph.

After working for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as a Cuso International cooperant in Botswana, she earned a Master of Arts in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph. She subsequently worked as a rural development advisor in Indonesia and later to support two State Islamic Universities develop their community engagement strategies.

Prior to joining StFX, she spent a decade as executive director of Calmeadow. Ms. Coyle helped the organization pioneer the creation of the world’s first commercial micro finance bank, BancoSol, in Bolivia and establish the First Peoples Fund to provide micro loans to First Nations and Métis communities in Canada.

She has three daughters and six grandchildren.


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