Lloyd Axworthy Biography

The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, P.C., O.C., O.M.

Dr. Lloyd AxworthyDr. Lloyd Axworthy retired as President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg following two full terms (ten years) in June 2014. He graduated in 1961 with a BA from United College (now The University of Winnipeg), and received an MA and PhD from Princeton in 1963 and 1972 respectively.

While at The University of Winnipeg, Dr. Axworthy worked to renew the campus and its downtown community with the view to making post-secondary education more accessible to inner-city, Aboriginal, new immigrant and refugee students. He also significantly expanded the University’s outreach in the areas of Indigenous education, environmental studies, and human rights.

Dr. Axworthy’s political career spanned 27 years, during six of which he served in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and twenty-one in the Federal Parliament. He held several Cabinet positions, notably Minister of Employment and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Minister of Transport, Minister of Human Resources Development, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996-2000. Upon leaving public office, Dr. Axworthy served as Director and CEO of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Colombia prior to his appointment at The University of Winnipeg.

In the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Dr. Axworthy became internationally known for his advancement of the human security concept, in particular, the Ottawa Treaty - a landmark global treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. For his leadership on landmines, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. For his efforts in playing a pivotal role in establishing the International Criminal Court and the Protocol on child soldiers, he received the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe.

Since leaving public life in the fall of 2000, Dr. Axworthy has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honours. The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation presented him with the Senator Patrick J. Leahy Award in recognition of his leadership in the global effort to outlaw landmines, to ban the use of children as soldiers, and to bring war criminals to justice. Princeton University awarded him the Madison Medal for his record of outstanding public service, he received the CARE International Humanitarian Award, and he was elected Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Axworthy has been named to Order of Manitoba and to the Order of Canada and has received honorary doctorates from 12 universities.

In 2004, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Lloyd Axworthy as his special envoy for Ethiopia-Eritrea to assist in implementing a peace agreement between the East African countries. In 2006, the Organization of American States appointed him to lead the OAS Electoral Observation Mission that monitored the 2006 general elections in Peru. He recently served as a member of the UNDP Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor which released its report, Making the Law Work for Everyone, in 2008.

He has served as a board member for a number of organizations, including The MacArthur Foundation, STARS Air Ambulance, the Conference Board of Canada, Apathy is Boring – Council on Youth Electoral Engagement, and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. In 2010, he was made an honourary member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and was given an Ojibwe name - Waapshki Pinaysee Inini, which translates to White Thunderbird Man. In 2012 he was granted the title of Pipe Carrier by local First Nations.

Lloyd Axworthy remains involved in international matters and lectures widely in Canada, the US and abroad. His book Navigating a New World - Canada’s Global Future, Knopf Canada, was published in the fall of 2003.