Born in Montréal, Lili-Anna Pereša is an engineer by training and graduated from the École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1987. Ms. Pereša also holds a graduate degree in management from McGill University, and a master’s degree in political science from the Sorbonne in Paris. She has been President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal since 2013.
Ms. Pereša first became a volunteer aid worker at the age of 25 when she accepted an assignment from World University Service of Canada to teach in Malawi. She later worked for Oxfam-Québec as a management consultant to Burkina Secours in Burkina Faso and, in 1994, she joined CARE Austria and worked in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Ms. Pereša directed several community and humanitarian organizations, including les petits frères des Pauvres, the YWCA of Montreal, and Amnesty International France, before serving as Executive Director of ONE DROP from 2009 to 2012.
She is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, the International Women’s Forum, the Amies d’affaires, and the Advisory Committee for the 2017 Summit of the Mallet Institute. She is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, a board member of the Domaine Forget, and the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada.
Ms. Pereša’s involvement in humanitarian aid has earned her numerous distinctions, including the Mercure Leadership Germaine-Gibara Award at the 2016 Mercuriades, the Meritorious Service Award for Community Service from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal, and being named a Fellow of Engineers Canada.