Ann Thomson was born in Vancouver and graduated from UBC. She began her career in international development as a teacher in northeastern Thailand, then went to work with CUSO in Ottawa. A second posting took her to Ghana, resulting in work in education projects throughout Africa for ten years, culminating in management of the first Canadian education project in an independent Zimbabwe in 1981. While retaining her links to international education, Ann became involved in Asia with a wider scope on aspects of poverty reduction, including agriculture, health and population control programming. As a mature student, Ann completed a Master’s degree in International Public Policy at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies while working as a Canadian NGO representative and advocate with the World Bank. She managed a number of large-scale projects in South and Southeast Asia, becoming CARE’s Country Director for East Timor and Indonesia. She was the Executive Director of USC Canada from 1999-2004.
Ann continues to work as a development practitioner, combining overseas postings with short-term consulting in governance and human rights areas. She is passionately committed to promotion of policies and practices that benefit the poor in developing countries and particularly those that benefit women. She has three grown children who now admit that they were fortunate to have been exposed to some of the toughest countries in the world, even though they might not have thought so at the time, and who all make contributions to domestic issues. Ann lives, gratefully, in Vancouver.