UNICEF Canada’s Board of Directors announced on May 11 that Sevaun Palvetzian will serve as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer effective June 1. Palvetzian will replace David Morley, who is stepping down after more than a decade of committed leadership with the organization.
“As the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children, we work with governments, the corporate sector, and civil society in order to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children in an unparalleled way,” said James McPhedran, chair of UNICEF’s Canada’s Board. “Sevaun’s unique multi-sector background and demonstrated history of providing creative solutions to complex challenges will be tremendous assets to UNICEF Canada. Her ability to build diverse and high-performing teams, coupled with her proven strategic communication and partnership skills will bring continued attention to the issues and new approaches to tackling them.”
“I am thrilled to be joining UNICEF Canada–an organization I’ve long admired for its ability to understand the needs of the world’s most vulnerable children while serving on the frontlines addressing them,” said Palvetzian. “Today, we watch as the geopolitical table is being reset, conflict is raging in new corners of the world, and climate change is creating an unprecedented need. I cannot imagine a more important role at a more important time, and I look forward to working with the UNICEF Canada team and our partners to meet the rising needs of every child, everywhere.”
Armenian Canadian Palvetzian is currently a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and executive advisor to leading companies in Canada and the U.S. on ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and its related impact on organizational strategy. She has previously served as Chief Communications Officer at Rogers and held various positions at the University of Toronto, the World Bank Group, and Presidential Classroom–a civic education organization in Washington DC.
In 2017, Palvetzian contributed a piece about her grandfather, Garabed (“Charlie”) Palvetzian, an Armenian Genocide survivor who arrived in Ontario in 1915, to 150 Stories. The book, published in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, featured 150 stories told by 150 Ontarians in 150 words or less. In 2019, Palvetsian was the keynote speaker at the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Toronto Roubina chapter’s annual International Women’s Day celebration.