George Somerwill

Vice Chairperson

George Somerwill worked as a journalist for the BBC African Service in the early seventies, and joined the CBC in 1976, where he worked for 13 years. Following a brief stint with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in the early nineties, George joined CARE Canada, working in emergency programming in Zimbabwe, Somalia and Rwanda. It was while working with CARE in Angola in 1995, that he was recruited by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

In 1998, while taking up a humanitarian post with the UN Oil-For-Food Programme (OFFP) in Saddam’s Iraq, George took over as Baghdad spokesperson for the OFFP.
In 2002, as Afghan refugees poured into Pakistan, George served with UNICEF Pakistan. In mid-2003, he returned to United Nations peacekeeping and to the Horn of Africa, to serve in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). From late 2004 to 2007, as the UN struggled to bring peace to North and South Sudan, George joined the fledgling UN peacekeeping mission in Khartoum as the Chief of Public Information, UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).

George ended his UN career with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where he served as Director of Communications/Public Information from 2007 to 2011. He continues to do consulting work, as part of a team training Asian military officers to lead UN peacekeeping contingents. He has joined the national board of the UN Association of Canada (UNAC) as a B.C. regional representative and is Vice-President of the board of UNAC Vancouver. George Somerwill has an MA in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development, from the University of York (UK).