Carolyn McAskie served as Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding from May 2006 to August 2008, heading up the office created to support the newly formed Peacebuilding Commission of the United Nations. Prior to that she served as Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in Burundi from June 2004 to April 2006. Her previous appointment (1999-2004) was Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN Secretariat in New York, serving as Emergency Relief Coordinator a.i., for the period 1999 to January 2001.
Prior to her appointment with the United Nations, Carolyn McAskie had a career with the Federal Government of Canada, in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She served as Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East Programs and Vice-President of CIDA's Multilateral Programmes Branch, holding the rank of Assistant Deputy Minister from 1993 until 1999.
Earlier posts with CIDA include Director-General International Financial Institutions; Director-General, Multilateral Technical Cooperation (United Nations and Commonwealth Programmes); and in the Canadian High Commission in Kenya. She has also served in the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as Assistant Director of Finance and Personnel (1975-1980) and as Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (1986-1989).
Throughout her career, Carolyn McAskie has played a prominent role in multilateral negotiations as a Canadian delegate to the UN Funds and Programs and in the Governing Councils of the International Financial Institutions, including the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Global Environmental Facility. She served as a member of the Facilitation Team of the Burundi Peace Process in Arusha (1999) under the late Julius Nyerere, the former President of Tanzania and as Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the humanitarian crisis in Cote d'Ivoire (2003).
Carolyn McAskie is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Director of Canadem and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre. She is currently a Senior Fellow in the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public andInternational Affairs.