Maurice Strong

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Maurice F. Strong (born 1929) was named Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank in June 1995.

From December 1992 until December 1995, Mr. Strong was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Hydro, North America's largest utility. Until September 1992, Mr. Strong was Secretary General of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations. During 1985 and 1986, he served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Office for Emergency Operations in Africa and was a member of the World Commission on Environment and Development.

Born in Canada and a resident of Toronto, Canada, Mr. Strong has longstanding ties with both the private and public sectors. Mr. Strong served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment from November 1970 to December 1972, and subsequently became the first Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya (January 1973-December 1975). He was then appointed President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canada's national oil company, Petro-Canada.

He also has been President of Power Corporation of Canada, first President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Chairman of the Canada Development Investment Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre (IDCR) in Canada. Mr. Strong is an advisor to the United Nations, and serves on the board of several other public service organizations. He has been a director and/or officer of a number of Canadian, U.S. and international corporations.

"He has received a number of awards and honours including the Order of Canada, the Swedish Royal Order of the Polar Star, and honourary doctorates from 37 universities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (U.K.), the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Architectural Society of Canada.Mr. Strong was born 29 April 1929, and educated in Manitoba, Canada. He is married to Hanne Marstrand and has four children, a foster child and eight grandchildren. His current appointments include: [1]

Past appointments include:

  • Special Advisor to the President, World Bank
  • 1998-2001 Mamber International Advisory Board, Federation of Korean Industry
  • 1992-1995 Chairman, Ontario Hydro
  • 1992 Secretary General, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
  • 1985-1986 Executive Coordinator, United Nations Office for Emergency Operations in Africa
  • 1983-1987 Member World Commission on Environment and Development
  • 1976-1978 President, Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Petro-Canada
  • 1973-1975 Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 1970-1972 Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
  • 1970-1972, 1976-1980, Chairman, Board of Governors, International Development Research Centre, Membmer of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum
  • 1966-1970 Headed Canada's International Development Assistance Program as Director-General of the External Aid Office, and later as President and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • 1966-1970 Alternate Governor for Canada- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Chairman, Bureau of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

"After the Earth Summit, Strong continued to take a leading role in implementing the results of Rio through establishment of the Earth Council, the Earth Charter movement, his Chairmanship of the World Resources Institute, Membership on the Board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the African-American Institute, the Institute of Ecology in Indonesia, the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and others. Strong was a longtime Foundation Director of the World Economic Forum, a Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank, a Member of the International Advisory of Toyota Motor Corporation, the Advisory Council for the Center for International Development of Harvard University, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund, Resources for the Future, and the Eisenhower Fellowships." [4]

"Mr. Strong founded the Earth Council in 1992 after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and is now extending that leadership with a new mandate to unite local councils and affiliated organizations under the Earth Council Alliance with co-founder Tommy E. Short.

"In addition, he is currently spending much of his time in China in his role as advisor to government, business and United Nations organizations. He also is a special advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well as chairman of the council, University for Peace, affiliated with United Nations...

Because of his time spent in China, Strong has remained out of the spotlight. However, in May 2010, Strong found himself in the headlines and even as a trending topic on Twitter following comments made by Glenn Beck. Beck is a vocal denier of the scientific opinion on climate change. His CNN Headline News May 2 2007 hour-long special, Exposed: The Climate of Fear, was described by Media Matters as "dominated by industry-funded "experts," serial misinformers." [1]. He believes that global warming is being used to secretly usher in a "new world order" [2].

Beck kicked off his May 13, 2010 show by posting an on-screen graphic that read: "What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring this about?" (Strong allegedly said this to a reporter in 1990). Beck went on to suggest that Strong's hypothetical remark shows that he is "involved in collapsing the global economies into the hands of a global government" [3].

Strong then took to his website to address the issue:

Although I seldom respond to media criticisms which are for the most part ideologically based it is useful to put on record for those who may be interested, the facts which have been the subject of misinformation, misinterpretation and outright lying by my critics (number 4 directly addressed the quote used by Beck): 4. A particularly dishonest statement by long-time critic, Peter Foster, to his own editor, citing a fictional account which was clearly stated to be an extreme scenario of what might happen by the year 2030 if we failed to act. This specifically stated that it was not a prediction, and certainly not a recommendation, but the kind of prospect we must seek to avoid.

"Earlier in his career Mr. Strong served in investment and senior management positions with corporations in the energy and financial sectors. He was president of the Power Corporation of Canada before leaving in 1966 to head Canada’s External Aid Office, later reorganized as the Canadian International Development Agency.

"Mr. Strong returned to Canada as president, chairman and CEO of Petro-Canada (1976-78). He served as Chairman of the International Energy Development Corporation from 1980 to 1983 and of the Canada Development Investment Corporation from 1982 to 1984." [5]

His son is Fred Strong.

Other Affiliations


Strong has been awarded numerous awards including "the Order of Canada, the Swedish Royal Order of the Polar Star, the IAIA Global Environment Award and honourary doctorates from 46 universities, including one from York. In addition, Strong is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society (UK), and Royal Architectural Society of Canada." [5]


  • Maurice Strong, Conference on the Human Environment Founex Switzerland June 4-12 1971 (Paperback), Walter De Gruyter Inc (June 1973), ISBN 9027969906
  • Maurice Strong, The Castel Gandolfo report on renewable energy: Policies and options, North South Roundtable, January 1981, ASIN B0006XXXJ6
  • Maurice Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going?, Texere; 1st edition, April 2001, ISBN 158799092X (Hardcover).

Congressional Testimony

Speches and Articles by Strong

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Strong, Maurice F., 1929- . Papers, 1948-2000: Guide, Harvard University, accessed October 4, 2008.
  2. Advisory Council, LEAD International, accessed April 22, 2009.
  3. Centre for Change Supporters, organizational web page, accessed February 6, 2012.
  4. Short Biography, Maurice Strong, accessed October 3, 2008.
  5. Maurice Strong, Earth Council Alliance, accessed September 19, 2007.
  6. Frequently Asked Questions, World Future Society, accessed September 1, 2007.
  7. Directors, David Suzuki Foundation, accessed October 7, 2007.
  8. President, Honorary Presidents and Vice-Presidents, World Federation of United Nations Associations, accessed December 23, 2008.
  9. Institute of Noetic Sciences Distinguished Advisors, organizational web page, accessed July 14, 2013.
  10. Lindbergh Award, Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, accessed November 20, 2009.

External links

Biographical Notes

Interviews With Strong

Other Articles