Stephen Lewis returns to the speaking circuit after four years in New York headquarters at the rank of Assistant Secretary General of UNICEF (United Nations Childrens Fund). In that capacity, Mr. Lewis had overall responsibility for programming, emergencies (Kosovo is a good example) and communication world-wide. In the exercise of his duties, he traveled extensively from Moscow to Harare, from Bogota to Beijing, from Ouogadougou to New Delhi. UNICEF has between 7,000 and 8,000 staff working in160 countries with an annual budget of one billion dollars.
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This most recent experience allows Stephen to speak knowledgeably on subjects as diverse as international relations, economic and social development and management excellence. But his recent work is merely an extension of a life-long dedication to social causes and improving the human condition. In the course of a 35-year career, Mr. Lewis spent more than fifteen distinguished years as an elected parliamentarian in the Ontario Legislature; he's been a lively radio and television commentator; he's acted as a respected labour arbitrator; he served four quite celebrated years as Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations; he chaired the first ever United Nations Committee to draft a program for African Economic Recovery and, coincidentally, chaired the first ever international conference on Climate Change; he became the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Africa; he sat on the Special Committee appointed by the UN Secretary-General to provide advice on the Beijing International Conference on Women; he co-ordinated a two-year international study on the Impact of War on Children; and at this very moment, Mr. Lewis is a member of the "Panel of Eminent Personalities" established by the organization of African Unity to investigate the genocide in Rwanda.
It is from this background --- domestic and international --- that Stephen draws his material for speeches. And it is fair to say that he has a reputation as one of the finest speakers in Canada. He uses no overheads, no power-point demonstration, just hand-written notes to weave an oratorical spell, rich in eloquence, substance, analysis and wit. Mr. Lewis researches his speeches with obsessive care, enlivens them with personal anecdote, and is never ashamed to be both passionate and emotional. Most compelling perhaps, is the way in which Stephen engages, moves and motivates his audience so that they emerge challenged and energized. Stephen Lewis attended the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia. He has received fourteen honorary degrees, and awards and recognition for work in the field of human rights, race relations, equity and tolerance. Mr. Lewis is married to the well-known journalist Michele Landsberg, and has three children, Ilana, Avi and Jenny, all of whom share the family's ideals.
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