We are delighted to announce the appointment of Associate Professor Mary Ana McGlasson as the new Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership.
Mary Ana holds dual Masters degrees in public policy and nursing from Princeton University and the University of Washington. She comes to the CHL with almost 20 years of experience as a family nurse practitioner and a decade of field-based leadership roles designing, implementing and overseeing humanitarian and development programs.
“It’s a critical time,” explains Mary Ana. “COVID-19 has thrust the need for localisation back in the spotlight. I’m really excited to dig deeper and push harder on that agenda.”
For decades the sector has talked about transformation, but we find ourselves doing the same things again and again. The CHL set out to link academic rigour with humanitarian practice, to bring that into one Centre… as you’d expect, it’s been a challenge to disrupt the status quo.
Mary Ana’s humanitarian experience covers a wide range of contexts in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, in roles including country director, global emergency response coordinator and global health advisor. She has designed and managed humanitarian programs across a wide range of disciplines including epidemic response; conflict, post-conflict and refugee health systems; emergency WASH-related services for refugees and IDPs; microfinance and women’s empowerment; natural disaster response; and community-based peacebuilding.
Mary Ana has worked for a range of leading iNGOs including MSF, Relief International and Mercy Corps. She has vast leadership experience in these roles and others, including managing academic researchers and serving as a visiting lecturer at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Mary Ana joins the CHL at a critical juncture following a major restructure to more aptly accommodate our growing services and team.
“There are great humanitarians putting things into practice at the local and regional level, but to transform the sector – that’s a vision. It’s a disruptive vision. There are so many things that work against that concept in the humanitarian system, but I never would have taken this job if I really didn’t believe in the idea of transforming the sector.”
We are thrilled to have someone of Mary Ana’s calibre to lead the CHL in its next, exciting phase.