Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDA, appointed Chairperson of the International Development Research Centre

June 22nd, 2022, Waterloo, ON – Today, MEDA is pleased to announce that its President and CEO, Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, has been appointed as Chairperson of the (IDRC) by the Honourable Harjit Sajjan. In this role, Dr. Nyambi will serve on IDRC’s Board of Governors and provide strategic direction, stewardship, and oversight for IDRC.

Dr. Nyambi is the first woman of color and the first member of the African Diaspora to assume this role. With this appointment, she also joins the ranks of Canadian luminaries like Lester B. Pearson (Canada’s 14th Prime Minister), Flora MacDonald (Canada’s first woman foreign affairs minister), Louis Raminsky (Canada’s first Jewish-Canadian and third Governor of the Bank of Canada), and Donald S. MacDonald (a former Minister of Finance and Chief Royal Commissioner on Canada’s economy and free trade with the United States).

Dr. Nyambi brings decades of experience in the non-profit world. Before joining MEDA, she served as Executive Vice President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and has worked for the World Health Organization and the United States Agency for International Development. Dr. Nyambi’s 25+ year career in the international and entrepreneurial sectors is informed by her unique life experiences working on the ground in lower-income countries (long-term development and humanitarian), with a lifelong focus to ensure women and girls are not left behind. Dr. Nyambi is pleased to bring a new perspective to this role as a female physician, administrator, and member of the African diaspora in Canada.

“I am truly honored to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Biggs, one of Canada’s most distinguished civil servants. Her inspirational leadership and mentorship have been exemplary. I wish her well,” says Dr. Nyambi.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the progress we’ve made to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Canada, IDRC, MEDA, and our partners must continue working at a systems level to strengthen food security, climate resilience, and gender equality to build more sustainable and inclusive societies worldwide.”

Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDA

The IDRC was established in 1970 by an Act of Parliament and is a federal Crown corporation that reports to Parliament through the Minister of International Development. It plays an important role in Canada’s international development work. IDRC’s annual budget is $145 million CAD, according to Department of Finance Canada 2022-2023 estimates. The organization funds research and innovation in lower and middle-income countries, shares research among like-minded policymakers, and builds alliances around the world to foster long-term, sustainable change.

With this appointment, MEDA is pleased to continue advancing sustainable development initiatives around the world, closely aligned with IDRC’s vision 2030 for a more sustainable and inclusive world. Under Dr. Nyambi’s leadership, MEDA will further its goals of working to strengthen the capacities of systemically marginalized communities, including women and youth, and enhance its ability to achieve its ten-year strategic goal of creating or sustaining decent work for 500,000 people by 2030.

For media inquiries, please contact

Krista O’Brien
Director, Corporate and Creative Communications

Steven Williams
Communications Advisor
Office of the President and CEO, MEDA



  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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